Dry eye syndrome is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. Its consequences range from subtle but constant irritation to ocular inflammation of the anterior (front) tissues of the eye.
Dry eyes also are described by the medical term, keratitis sicca, which generally means decreased quality or quantity of tears. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca refers to eye dryness affecting the cornea and conjunctiva.
Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms
Persistent dryness, scratchiness and a burning sensation in your eyes are symptoms of dry eyes. These symptoms alone may prompt a dry eye syndrome diagnosis. Another symptom of dry eyes is a “foreign body sensation,” the feeling that something is in the eye.
And it may seem odd, but dry eye syndrome can cause watery eyes. This is because dryness on the eye’s surface sometimes will overstimulate production of the watery component of your tears as a protective mechanism.
Treatment for Dry Eyes
Dry eye syndrome is an ongoing condition that may not be completely curable (depending on the cause). But the accompanying dryness, scratchiness and burning can be managed. We may prescribe artificial tears, which are lubricating eye drops that may alleviate the dry, scratchy feeling.