Tear has a very important protective eye function. They bathe the eye, washing out dust and debris and keeping the eye moist. Tears also contain enzymes that neutralize microorganisms that colonize the eye. Tears are essential for good eye health.
In dry eye syndrome, the lacrimal gland or associated glands near the eye don't produce enough tears, or dysfunction of the meibomian glands reduces oil output, leading to excessive evaporation of the tears. This syndrome can be part of the aging process of the organism, especially in women.
It may occures as a side effect of many medications. Another reason can be the hot and dry air or wind, and insufficient blinking during work with computer.
The main complaints of patients are constant dryness and burning eyes. Some people have reported gritty feeling in the eye and blurred vision. Usually complaints intensified especially during warm and dry weather or prolonged reading or working on a computer.
The treatment of dry eye syndrome comprisies using artificial tears - these are wetting drops that are applied from 2 to 4-5 times daily. It is better to be free of preservatives. Also patients are advised to wear sunglasses to reduce exposure to sun and wind. In very severe cases it may be necessary to place special temporary or permanent plugs of tear ducts to keep tears from draining through the drainage system of the eye to the nose.