Dry eye is a widespread condition affecting individuals irrespective of gender and age. While the symptoms might appear mild initially, neglecting them can aggravate eye irritation. Over time, this could lead to complications such as eyelid inflammation, cornea damage, and, in severe cases, necessitate surgery.


Dry eye arises when there's a disruption in the body's natural tear production, leading to insufficient eye lubrication. This paucity of moisture can cause eye discomfort, soreness, and sensations of stinging or burning.

Causes of Dry Eye

  1. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD): This involves issues with the vertical glands in the eyelid responsible for tear production.
  2. Hormonal Imbalances: Especially in women, which can affect tear quality.
  3. Contact Lens Use: Prolonged wear can be a factor.
  4. Environmental Allergens: Dust, smoke, or pollution might trigger symptoms.
  5. Daily Activities: Extended computer or smartphone usage can strain the eyes.
  6. Medications: Some drugs, such as birth control, antihistamines, antidepressants, and high blood pressure medications, can contribute to the condition.

Symptoms to Look Out For

  • Burning or stinging eye sensations
  • Feeling of foreign particles in the eyes, like dust or sand
  • Sensitivity to light and air
  • Redness due to eye inflammation
  • Blurred vision episodes
  • Discomfort upon waking

Advanced Dry Eye Symptoms

Ignoring treatment can lead to:

  • Eyelid inflammation
  • Eyelid malposition, causing eyelashes to graze the cornea
  • Cornea damage

Diagnostic Approach

The diagnosis involves:

  1. A thorough patient health history review
  2. Assessing tear quality
  3. Evaluating tear volume
  4. Meibography, a technique to inspect the meibomian glands

Treatment Options

  • Artificial Tears: For eye lubrication.
  • Steroid Eye Drops: Helpful in curtailing eye surface inflammation and alleviating irritation. It's crucial to use under guidance and for a restricted duration.
  • Eyelid Cleaning: Using specific solutions to remove bacteria, dirt, and eye debris.
  • Warm Compresses: Applying a warm washcloth (41-43ºC) on shut eyelids twice daily.
  • Eyelid Massage & Cleaning: Especially pressing the meibomian glands.
  • Lifestyle Adjustments: Minimising eye strain from screens and ensuring regular eye rest.