Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Cracked DesertDry eye, also called Dry Eye Syndrome, is one of the most common ocular conditions today. Dry eye problems arise when a person does not have enough tears, or the correct composition of tears, to properly lubricate the eye. Dry eye affects millions of people and while most suffer from mild symptoms that often disappear after a short time, the condition can lead to permanent vision problems. As a result, severe, long-lasting symptoms should be addressed immediately.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Also known as keratitis sicca, dry eye syndrome is exactly what the name implies; it is characterized by a persistent dry, scratchy feeling in the eyes that usually stems from problems with tear production or drainage. Though usually mild, symptoms can range in severity and lead to a serious decrease in quality of life.

Dry Eye Diagnosis

Dry eye syndrome generally does not require a sophisticated diagnosis. If your eyes feel dry, irritated, or scratchy on a regular basis, you most likely have dry eye problems. Determining the exact causes of your dry eye and the best solution for the condition, however, can be much more complex.

During your examination, your doctor may give you the Schirmer tear test to measure both the quantity and quality of your tears. For this test, blotting strips are placed under your lower eyelids, and the amount of tears absorbed by the strips is measured after several minutes. There are several other tests available that use special eye drops to measure the evaporation rate of your tears.

Depending on the quality and quantity of your tears, your doctor will discuss dry eye treatment options with you.


Close up of an eyeBlepharitis is an inflammation that occurs along the edge of the eyelids, typically affecting the area of the eyelid where the eyelashes grow. Blepharitis commonly occurs when glands at the base of the eyelashes fail to produce enough oil. This results in increased bacteria growth that can inflame and irritate the eyelid. Blepharitis can produce a burning sensation in the eyes, swollen eyelids, formation of crusty material in the eyelashes, and red, watery eyes. The latter symptom represents another form of tear production known as a reflex response. Tears are formed in response to an outside stimulus, but they provide no relief from dry eyes.

Common Treatments

Warm Compresses followed by Lid Scrubs is the most critical element of effective blepharitis control. This therapy removes the eyelid debris (which can be colonized by bacteria), reduces the bacterial load (mechanically as well as by lysis of bacteria due to detergent action of the soap in lid scrubbing) and stabilizes the tear film by releasing oily secretions from the meibomian glands, thus reducing tear evaporation (so the dry eye symptoms are also reduced).

To schedule an appointment or for more information, please contact us.