Dry eye syndrome symptoms occur when the front of the eye is not lubricated or kept moist. This occurs when there is insufficient tear production and/or problems with tear distribution.
The purpose of tears is to keep the front of the eye moist, which keeps the surface smooth and enables light to pass through for clear vision. When our eyes are dry, they tend to feel tired, gritty, irritated or itchy. Irritation from wind or smoke and difficulties wearing contact lenses are also problems for those experiencing dry eyes.
As we age, we make fewer tears. Due to hormonal changes, women notice dry eyes more often than men. Medications, such as antihistamines, hormone replacement therapy and oral acne medications may lead to dry eyes.
Because there is no known cure for dry eyes, it is important to initiate dry eye syndrome treatment. Using preservative-free artificial tear eye drops is a good way to keep the eyes moist and lubricated. If artificial tears do not provide adequate results, your doctor may suggest punctal occlusion treatment. The doctor inserts plugs that slows or lessens the drainage of tears, allowing them to stay in the eye longer.
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