Dry Eye Evaluation and Treatment
Although the term is “dry eye,” a common symptom is excessive tearing and watering. This reflex tearing is caused by the feeling that there’s sand or grit in your eyes. Patients report a burning sensation, aggravated by air conditioning or heat and blurred vision after periods of reading, watching TV or using a computer.
Dry eye can be caused by a number of things, including: decreased oil production in the glands of the eyelids, which allow tears to evaporate too quickly; diseases such as Sjogren’s Syndrome, Parkinson’s and diabetes; hormonal changes, especially after menopause; and some prescription medications. Diagnosing the condition may involve microscopic examination, measuring the rate of tear production and evaporation, and checking for minute scratches on the surface of the eye.
The most common treatment for dry eye is the use of artificial teardrops. Depending on the particular case, special eyelid-cleaning techniques may be recommended as well as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications.