What is it?

Dry eye happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears to stay wet, or when your tears don’t work correctly. This can make your eyes feel uncomfortable, and in some cases it can also cause vision problems.

Dry eye is common- it affects millions of Americans every year. The good news is that if you have dry eye, there are lots of things you can do to keep your eyes healthy and stay comfortable.

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Signs & symptoms

Dry eye can cause:
* A scratchy feeling, like there’s something in your eye
* Stinging or burning feelings in your eye
* Red eyes
* Sensitivity to light
* Blurry vision


Your doctor can check for dry eye as part of a comprehensive dilated eye exam. The exam is simple and painless - your doctor will give you some eye drops to dilate (widen) your pupil and then check your eyes for dry eye and other eye problems.
Be sure to tell your doctor if you think you might have dry eye. To find out if you have dry eye, your doctor might check:
* The amount of tears your eyes make
* How long it takes for your tears to dry up
* The structure of your eyelids


Treatment for dry eye usually depends on what’s causing your symptoms. There are a few different types of treatment that can ease your symptoms and help keep your eyes healthy:
* Over-the-counter eye drops- The most common treatment for mild dry eye is a type of eye drops called artificial tears.
* Prescription medicines- If your dry eye is more serious, your eye doctor may give you a prescription for medicines called cyclosporine or lifitegrast.
* Lifestyle changes
* Tear duct plugs- If tears are draining too quickly from your eyes, your doctor may suggest putting special plugs (called punctal plugs) in your tear ducts (small holes in the inner corners of your eyes). These plugs can help keep your tears in your eyes.
* Surgery- In some cases, dry eye can happen because your lower eyelids are too loose, causing tears to drain too quickly out of your eye. If this is the cause of your dry eye, your eye doctor may suggest surgery to fix your eyelids and help your tears stay on your eyes. This treatment is not very common.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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