About Dry Eye

Dry eye is an irritating eye condition that occurs when 1) the eyes don’t make enough tears or 2) the tears evaporate more than usual. This makes the eyes dry and red. Treatment can be used to control your symptoms.


Dry eye is caused by anything that affects tear production. If too few tears are made, the eyes can become dry. The eyes can also become dry if the tears evaporate too quickly. Dry eye happens for a few reasons:

  • Ageing
  • Changes in hormone levels
  • Exposure to sun, wind, or dry climates
  • Contact lenses
  • Eye injury
  • Other eye diseases
  • Abuse of steroid cream
  • Diseases that affect the whole body (like rheumatoid arthritis)
Picture Courtesy: American Academy of Ophthalmology

The symptoms of the dry eye are,

Most people experience mild symptoms. In a few cases, dry eye can be more painful, with more severe consequences.

  • Dry or sore eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Eyelids stick together when you wake up
  • Watering eyes (Your eye may briefly make too many tears to try and fix the dryness)

Both eyes usually show symptoms. If you experience these mild symptoms, visit your eye doctor. They may be able to prescribe something to relieve the irritation. If your symptoms are severe or accompanied by pain and decreased vision, see an eye doctor immediately. This may be a sign that something else is wrong.

To help your eyes make more tears, your doctor may prescribe artificial tears. These tears are applied as eye drops. They control your symptoms by wetting the eyes. Any inflammation may be relieved with skin creams.

If your dry eye is caused by some other disease, like rheumatoid arthritis, it may be necessary to preserve the tears. In these cases, surgery may be used to stop the tears from leaking out of the tear ducts.