What Is Dry Eyes?

Dry EyesDry eyes can occur due to many factors, all of which simplify to the decreased production of tears. This may be due to aging, prior eye surgery, certain medications (antihistamines, psychiatric medicines), eye trauma, or certain auto immune diseases (Sjogren's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus). The symptoms include redness of the eye, excessive tearing, with an irritating burning foreign body sensation feeling.

Treatment for Dry Eyes

The initial treatment include the aggressive use of artificial tears, in the form of eye drops and ointments. The best eye drops are those preservative-free ones, such as Celluvisc, Cellufresh, Systane, Bion, and Refresh. If eye drops fail to improve the dry eyes, the next treatment of choice is placing punctal plugs in the eyelids. Each eyelid has a punctum (drainage hole) through which tears drain from the eye into the nose. By placing a punctal plug in that area, the tears will lubricate the eye for a longer period of time prior to evaporating. The latest in innovative medications for the treatment of dry eyes is a cyclosporine eyedrop, called Restasis, which aids in producing more tears.