Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. In addition, inflammation of the surface of the eye may occur along with dry eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision. However, permanent loss of vision from dry eye is uncommon.

Dry eye can make it more difficult to perform some activities, such as using a computer or reading for an extended period of time, and it can decrease tolerance for dry environments, such as the air inside an airplane. Other names for dry eye include dry eye syndrome, keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), dysfunctional tear syndrome, lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis, evaporative tear deficiency, aqueous tear deficiency, and LASIK-induced neurotrophic epitheliopathy (LNE).


View Video


What are the types of dry eye?

Aqueous tear-deficient dry eye is a disorder in which the lacrimal glands fail to produce enough of the watery component of tears to maintain a healthy eye surface.

Evaporative dry eye may result from inflammation of the meibomian glands, also located in the eyelids. These glands make the lipid or oily part of tears that slows evaporation and keeps the tears stable.

Dry eye can be associated with:

  • inflammation of the surface of the eye, the lacrimal gland, or the conjunctiva;
  • any disease process that alters the components of the tears;
  • an increase in the surface of the eye, as in thyroid disease when the eye protrudes forward;
  • cosmetic surgery, if the eyelids are opened too widely.

Chart Showing the Difference Between a Healthy Eye and One that Has Dry Eye


Dry eye symptoms may include any of the following:

  • 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.

NOTE: 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.

The above information is provide by the National Eye Institute.

The Letter I in ItalicsRequest an Appointment Key Iconpatient portal Star Iconreview us online Two People Icondoctors 1-888-eyes-now
Font Resize
PATIENT INFORMATION

Our Patient Information Center makes it easy for you to do the following:

Map Icon

OUR LOCATIONS

Albuquerque - Northside

5757 Harper Dr NE,
Albuquerque, NM 87109

Albuquerque - Promenade

5200 Eubank NE, Suite A-4 Promenade Center
Albuquerque, NM 87111

Albuquerque - Regina Hall

806 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave.
Albuquerque, NM 87102-3657

Albuquerque - Retina Center

4411 The 25 Way NE, Suite 325
Albuquerque, NM 87109,

Espanola

412 Paseo de Onate St., Suite #2
Espanola, NM 87532

Farmington

622 West Maple, Suite E
Farmington, NM 87401

Gallup

311 East Nizhoni Blvd
Gallup, NM 87301-5791

Las Vegas

248 Mills Ave.
Las Vegas, NM 87701

Los Alamos

1623 Central Avenue
Los Alamos, NM 87544

Los Lunas

1603 Main Street SW, Suite B
Los Lunas, NM 87031

Rio Rancho

1740 Grande Blvd, Suite B
Rio Rancho, NM 87124

Roswell

1606 S.E. Main St.
Roswell, NM 88203

Santa Fe

2947 Rodeo Park East
Santa Fe, NM 87505

Taos

1399 Weimer Rd., Suite 300
Taos, NM 87571