Dry eye is keratoconjunctivitis sicca, abnormal dryness and thickening of the surface of the conjunctiva and cornea. Eyes, especially the cornea, usually get moisture from the lacrimal gland. By blinking it turns tears into a layer of tear film spread all around the cornea, lubricating the eyes and keeping the eyes moist and comfortable. So-called “Dry eye” results from a deficiency of tears or inadequate functioning of the lacrimal glands.

Dry eyes

Commonly seen symptoms of dry eye include:

  • Eyes easily feel strained after short periods of use
  • Scratchiness of the eye
  • Dryness of the eyes and the sensation of grit in the eye
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Having difficulty opening the eyes in the morning, the feeling that the eyelids are stuck together.
  • Further symptoms include burning, itchiness, redness, tenderness, blurred vision and eye strain, discharge of sticky threads etc.
  • Excessive tears. This may sound insane. But it’s due to overstimulation of the corneal nerve causing the lacrimal gland to secrete too much.

Other symptoms may be headaches, dysphoria, fatigue, difficulty in concentrating. In severe cases, keratomalacia (softening of the cornea) leading to perforation may occur. Upon examination conjunctiva congestion may be observed.

Some eye beautifications that may open the door for dry eye:

  • Contact lenses: may injure your cornea and give rise to inflammation.
  • Laser vision correction: may change the curvature of the eyeball so that tears can’t spread evenly around the eyeball.
  • Asian Blepharoplasty known as “double eyelid surgery”: may cause injury to the lacrimal gland and meibomian gland of the upper eyelid.
  • ‘Debagging’ of the eyes: may cause injury to the meibomian gland of the lower eyelid.
  • Fake eyelashes: tear secretion may be decreased if the lacrimal gland and meibomian gland are clogged by mascara.