• ‘Dry eye' is a condition characterized by an unstable tear film causing irritation and discomfort in the eye. This is because of either decreased quantity of tears or their increased evaporation from the eye. The symptoms are non-specific and can range from a tired or itching eye to diminished vision in severe cases. Normally tears get drained out of eye through small openings in the lids called punctum. These can be blocked with “punctual plugs” to reduce the tear drainage and evaporation and keep the eye moist and well lubricated.
  • Clinical examination along with specific tests can help diagnose the condition of dry eyes. A detailed examination is done to assess the severity of the problem and other complications. The treatment includes use of preservative-free artificial tears, topical immunosuppressive medication and autologous serum.

Dry eyes can sometimes be a manifestation of an underlying systemic disease like rheumatoid arthritis. Such patients are jointly treated by the ophthalmologist and rheumatologist.