Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common ocular disorders treated by ophthalmologists. It affects millions of Americans each year, especially post-menopausal women. Tears play a vital role in the proper functioning of the eye. Comprised of mucus, water, and oil layers, tears deliver moisture and important nutrients to the cornea in order to maintain its health. When the tear duct does not produce enough lubricating tears, dry eye syndrome may develop. Dry eye syndrome may also develop as a result of excessively watery eyes that produce tears without the correct balance of mucus, water, and oil.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:

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Burning or stinging
· Itching
· Redness
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Foreign body sensation or feeling like sand in the eye

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Blurred vision that may improve with blinking

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Excessively watery eyes

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Increased irritation after reading, working on a computer, or watching television

People who suffer from chronic dry eye should seek treatment from a qualified medical professional. If left untreated, this condition may damage the cornea, increase the threat of an infection, and eventually lead to the inability to produce natural tears. In the most acute cases, this condition can impair vision. Fortunately, dry eye syndrome can be successfully treated.