What Is Dry Eye?


Dry eye occurs when the tears that normally lubricate and nourish the surface of your eye don’t do their job properly. In severe cases, it can cause pain, blurred vision, and other symptoms. Here’s what you need to know about this common condition:

Common symptoms

  • Feeling like something is in your eye

  • Redness

  • Irritation

  • Blurred vision

  • Eye fatigue, burning, or itching

  • Eye pain or soreness (only present when blinking)


The causes of dry eye can be grouped into three categories:

  • Environmental (e.g., wind, air conditioning, low humidity)

  • Lifestyle (e.g., computer use and reading)

  • Systemic/medical (e.g., diabetes, thyroid disorders)

Treatment and prevention

If left untreated, dry eye can lead to a host of more serious health problems. To prevent this from happening and start on the road to better vision and comfort, try these simple tips:

  • Use lubricating eye drops. If you have moderate or severe dry eye symptoms, your doctor may prescribe artificial tears or medications that help restore a healthy tear film. These are available over-the-counter and come in many different forms—some provide only temporary relief while others offer long-term treatment for chronic dry eyes.

  • Wear sunglasses outdoors whenever possible to protect your eyes from wind and sun damage that cause further irritation. If this is not an option due to work demands or other reasons, consider wearing glasses specifically designed with UV protection as an alternative (UV rays can also cause damage).

  • Avoid windy environments such as high-altitude ski slopes that could sting your eyes or force them closed for long periods of time; if possible try limiting time spent outdoors in general during periods when wind speeds are highest (such as early morning hours). Keep your home’s thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 Celsius), which will keep air circulating throughout the day through vents located near windows where they’re needed most—this reduces moisture levels indoors which helps alleviate symptoms associated with dryness due to cold weather conditions outside

If you have dry eye symptoms, talk to your eye care professional.

If you have dry eye symptoms, talk to your eye care professional.

Dry eyes are treatable and preventable, but they can also be a sign of other eye problems that require medical attention. If you notice any changes in your vision or experience discomfort while reading or watching television, contact an ophthalmologist right away.


If you have dry eye symptoms, talk to your eye care professional. They can diagnose your condition and recommend the best treatment options.

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