Dry Eye

Submitted by Thiruvelan on Fri, 06/25/2010

Dry eye syndrome is an eye problem with low quantity or quality of tears that make it dry and red. Detail info of its causes, symptoms, test, and treatments.

Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. It is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Need tears for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision?

With each blink of the eyelids, tears are spreading across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away foreign matter in the eye, and keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear. Excess tears in the eyes flow into small drainage ducts, in the inner corners of the eyelids, which drain in the back of the nose.

Dry eye syndrome

Dry eyes can result from an improper balance of tear production and drainage.

Inadequate amount of tears - several glands in and around the eyelids produce Tears. Tear production tends to diminish with age, with various medical conditions, or as a side effect of certain medicines. Environmental conditions such as wind and dry climates can also affect to tear volume by increasing tear evaporation. When the normal amount of tear production decreases or tears evaporate too quickly from the eyes, symptoms of the dry eye can develop.

Poor quality of tears - Tears are of three layers: oil, water, and mucus. Each component serves a function in protecting and nourishing the front surface of the eye. A smooth oil layer helps to prevent evaporation of the water layer, while the mucus layer helps in spreading the tears evenly over the surface of the eye. If the tears evaporate too quickly or do not spread on the cornea due to deficiencies with any of the three tear layers, dry eye symptoms can occur.

The most common form of dry eyes is due to an inadequate amount of the water layer of tears. This condition, called kerato conjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is also referring to as dry eye syndrome.

People with this condition may experience eye irritated, and advanced stage may damage the front surface of the eye and impair vision. Proper treatments for dry eyes aim to restore or maintain the normal amount of tears in the eye to minimize dryness and related discomfort and to maintain eye health.