Video: Dry Eye Information

This video provides information about Dry Eye, a condition that can occur together with glaucoma, and is more common among women.

Note: This video uses Adobe Flash Player, and will not play on an Apple iPhone or iPad. If you are using a PC or Mac, please click here to install the free Adobe Flash Player. We will provide an updated, Apple-compatible version of this video when it is available. Following is a complete transcript of the video content.

Transcript

Introduction

Dry eye is a chronic condition that results from an insufficient production of tears, or excessive evaporation of the tear film. Dry eye affects millions of people worldwide, and is one of the most common reasons that patients visit their eye doctor. Dry eye is usually associated with dryness, scratchiness or burning of the eyes. Some people experience a “foreign body sensation,” a feeling that something is in the eye. The condition can also produce watery eyes because dryness can stimulate excess tearing as a reflex.

In the early stages, dry eye causes mild discomfort, but it may become very uncomfortable as the condition progresses. One of the keys to improving this condition and avoiding damage to the eyes is to recognize the symptoms of dry eye early, and to seek treatment for it. Without treatment, chronic dry eye can lead to eye infection, scarring, and possibly impaired vision.

Causes

Dry eye has many causes. Some causes are from various external influences, such as one’s environment. Other causes are related to changes in the body’s nervous, hormonal, and immune systems that can occur over time.

When a person has chronic Dry Eye, inflammatory changes in the tear-producing glands and in the eye’s surface can interfere with production of normal tears. When this occurs, the eye produces fewer tears that are less effective. This results in a tear film that evaporates more quickly than normal, which provides less moisture and protection for the eye’s surface. With the tear film’s protection diminished, the eyes may experience painful symptoms of Dry Eye, and damage to the eye surface may occur.

Summary

It is important to remember that Dry Eye is not just a minor discomfort. Dry Eye is a serious, progressive condition that can potentially lead to serious vision problems. The key to improving this condition and avoiding damage to the eyes is to recognize the symptoms of Dry Eye and to seek treatment for it.

Many people never mention their Dry Eye symptoms to their doctor. There are several effective treatments available for Dry Eye patients. Doctors can help patients relieve or improve their Dry Eye symptoms. Ask your eye care professional about your options.

Last reviewed on May 04, 2011

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