Dry Eye

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when your eyes do not make enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly^1^. This can happen due to a variety of factors and, in many cases, it can be caused by a number of factors happening at the same time. Once diagnosed, there are various ways to manage the condition.


Dry eye can be caused by many different factors, as shown in the flow chart below^1-2^.

The condition can lead to discomfort, visual disturbance and tear film instability. Healthy tears are needed not only to moisten the eye’s surface, but also to provide protection by flushing away debris and bacteria^3^. Common reasons why the eyes tend to dry relate to hormonal changes (e.g. pregnancy or menopause); environmental conditions such as air conditioning^4^ or using digital devices for prolonged periods; diet (low levels of omega-3 rich foods^4^); and medications like antihistamines or antidepressants.



1. NHS. Dry Eye Syndrome. (2016) Available at: [http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/dry-eye-syndrome/Pages/introduction.aspx]
2. National Eye Institute. Facts About Dry Eye. (2013) Available at: [https://nei.nih.gov/health/dryeye/dryeye]
3. The College of Optometrists. How your eyes work. Available at: [http://lookafteryoureyes.org/how-your-eyes-work/about-your-eyes/tears/]
4. The Ocular Surface. Dry Eye Workshop Report. (2007), p. 173, 79


Press 'Enter'

Share this

Dry Eye
Email link

Vision and Age

Select an Age Group

Continue as guest
Sign up

Your details


About you

Communication settings

I would like to be contacted on the following subjects: