Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem particularly with older adults.
Dry eyes can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. Testing, with special emphasis on the evaluation of the quantity and quality of tears produced by the eyes, may include:
Using the information obtained from testing, your doctor can determine if you have dry eyes and advise you on treatment options.
National Eye Institute supported researchers are studying the underlying causes of dry eye to better understand the disease and to develop novel treatments. Researchers are investigating factors that influence the ability of corneal nerves to sense tear evaporation. For more information, visit their website.