Dry Eye Syndrome (DES)

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Dry Eye Syndrome is a disease that causes a disruption in the tear film and the underlying ocular surface, thereby creating symptoms of eye irritation, eye redness and changes in vision, which can be damaging in the long-term. 

This irritation results in chronic inflammation, which causes further disruption in the tear film and ocular surface, leading to a vicious cycle that can irreversibly damage the corneal layer of the eye.1

Symptoms

  • Stinging or burning of the eye
  • A sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye
  • Episodes of excess tears following very dry eye periods
  • A stringy discharge from the eye
  • Pain and redness of the eye
  • Episodes of blurred vision
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Inability to cry when emotionally stressed
  • Uncomfortable contact lenses
  • Decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer, or any activity that requires sustained visual attention
  • Eye fatigue

If symptoms of dry eye persist, consult an eye care professional to get an accurate diagnosis of the condition and begin treatment to avoid permanent damage.2

Management/Treatment

The first step in management of dry eye syndrome is modification of the environment, such as the use of a humidifier and avoiding visually demanding activities.  Common treatments include topical ocular lubrication with artificial tears or ointment, topical or oral anti-inflammatory medications, and essential fatty acid supplements. 

In severe cases, punctual plugs can be used to block the lacrimal ducts and increase the amount of tears present on the eye.

If symptoms of dry eye persist, consult an eye care professional to get an accurate diagnosis of the condition and begin treatment to avoid permanent damage.3


1 Shagun Arora, Dry Eye Syndrome, 2012.

2 National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health (NEI/NIH).

3 Yao W, Davidson RS, Durairaj VD, Gelston CD. Dry eye syndrome: an update in office management. Am J Med. 2011 Nov;124(11):1016-8. Epub 2011 Sep 22. Review. PubMed PMID: 21944160

NEWS

New technology for some patients with chronic dry eye

December 13, 2012 | Emory Eye Center is the first academic center in Georgia to offer a new technology that can help patients who suffer from a certain type of dry eye syndrome (DES). The technology, LipiFlow: Thermal Pulsation ™ is a novel way to treat evaporative dry eye disease caused by Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).

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