Dry eye occurs when the eyes aren’t sufficiently moisturized, leading to tearing, foreign body sensation, redness and pain. The eyes may become dry and irritated because the tear glands don’t produce enough tears, or because the tears themselves have a chemical imbalance.
People usually begin experiencing dry eye symptoms as they age, but the condition can also result from certain medications, conditions or injuries.
Non-surgical treatments for dry eye include increasing humidity at home or work, and use of artificial tears or moisturizing ointment. Prescription medications for dry eye as well as methods to optimize the health of the eyelids are effective ways to improve eye comfort. If these methods fail, small punctal plugs may be inserted in the corners of the eyes to limit tear drainage, or the drainage ducts in the eyes may be surgically closed.