Dry Eye (Patient Counselling Guide)
05 Jun 2020
Dry eye occurs when the quantity or quality of the tears that wet a person's eye diminishes. The condition may be caused by a deterioration in tear production, excessive tear evaporation or a defect in mucus or lipid production found in the tear layer. It may be brought about by the natural aging of the tear glands or certain diseases eg, Sjögren's syndrome, neurotrophic keratitis (decreased sensitivity to the cornea), allergic conjunctivitis, vitamin A deficiency and thyroid disease. It may also be due to certain medications, environmental conditions and eye strain. Most cases of dry eye result from the normal aging of the glands in the eye. Exposure to common allergens eg, pollens, dust mites, are more likely to aggravate the condition. Although the condition occurs in both men and women, dry eye seems to affect women more, especially those who are pregnant and post-menopausal. The effects of dry eye may be mild to severe. If left untreated, it may result in corneal damage eg, ulceration, scarring or perforation. In rare cases, it can have a severe consequence - blindness.
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