Dry Eye
Tears are very important for the eyes, and for a number of reasons. They not only act as a lubricant, but they also work as a cleanser - keeping away and washing out dust, debris and foreign objects. Their antibacterial properties neutralize any germs which may reside on the surface of the eye. Therefore, when tear production is insufficient, it can create many problems for the eyes. Not only are dry eyes uncomfortable, they are also more prone to injury and infection.

For minor cases of dry eyes, over-the-counter eye lubricants are all that are required to ease the discomfort. But when the body cannot produce or sustain enough tears to properly protect the eye, this can be a condition known as dry eye syndrome. Depending on the cause and extent of dry eye syndrome, it may or may not be able to be completely cured; however, the symptoms can be managed.

Some symptoms of dry eye include:
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Mucus in or around the eye
  • Itchiness
  • Excessive tearing (the eye's natural response to discomfort from dry eyes)
  • Discomfort while wearing contacts
Usually artificial tears (lubricants) easily relieve the discomfort from dry eyes.  Some individuals require other methods such as Restasis (a prescribed anti-inflammatory medication), punctual plugs (a small device inserted into the tear duct), or surgical closure of the tear ducts. If dry eyes are a result of environmental conditions, it may also be helpful to fight the causes, such as wearing sunglasses in dusty climates or using humidifiers for dry climates. Nutritional inefficiencies can also be to blame for dry eyes, in which case taking dietary supplements or drinking more water may be advised.

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