Your eyes constantly produce tears containing natural infection fighting antibiotics. Blinking ensures tears cover the eye’s surface before being sucked through two small holes in the nasal corner of your eyelids. These are the tear duct openings or puncta that drain tears to the nose and throat.
Dry eye syndrome, is a common condition that occurs when the eyes do not make enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly. Most patients with Dry Eye Syndrome have a condition known as Evaporative Dry Eye and the commonest cause of evaporative dry eye is dysfunction of the oil producing glands in the eyelid edges – Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Patients with MGD have a ‘poor quality tear film’ which leads to increased evaporation of the normal tears which in turn causes the symptoms of Dry Eye
Although the condition can affect people of any age, your chances of developing dry eye syndrome increase as you get older. It’s estimated that up to one in every three people over the age of 65 experiences problems with dry eyes. Dry eye syndrome is also more common in women than men. Dry eye syndrome is not usually a serious condition.
Treatments are available to help relieve the symptoms, which include eye drops to lubricate the eyes, medications to reduce any inflammation, and (if necessary) surgery to prevent tears from draining away easily.