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Learn more about dry eyes - what causes them and the latest treatments.
Dry eye is a condition that affects around 10 to 30 % of the population worldwide where the eyes produce tears that are of poor quality or where tear production is deficient. The key factors involved are multifactorial and include: increasing age, female gender, computer use, air conditioning, contact lens wear, ophthalmic surgery, certain medications, lack of certain hormones and eating disorders. Dry eye may cause mild to severe effects such as inflammation and potential damage to the structures at the front of the eye (e.g. cornea and conjunctiva).
Patients with dry eye can report burning, itchiness, achiness, tired eyes, sore eyes, redness, watery eyes, light sensitivity and blurred vision.
Since symptoms are not always a good predictor of dry eye, an eye examination carried out by an ophthalmologist or an optometrist is recommended. Accurate identification of which type of dry eye is present, is the first step in planning successful treatment.
Treatment of dry eye aims to improve the quality of the tear film and to maintain the health of the structures at the front of the eye. A common approach to treating dry eye is prescribing ocular lubricants (tear supplements), although other medications, supplements and procedures to optimise tear production and quality and/or ocular health may be indicated.
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