It is a clinical condition resulting from inadequate secretion of tears or adequate secretion of tears but with deteriorated stability.

It causes stinging, irritation, sensitivity to light, dryness, paradoxical watering, and blurred vision. Redness in the eyelid and adhesive fibers may occur in advanced cases.It is more common in advanced ages and women. A number of systemic medications used for a long time (antihypertensive drugs, antidepressants, etc.) may cause eye dryness. 

Figure 1. Tear breakup time (TBUT) is a clinical test used to assess for evaporative dry eye disease. Dry spots ( tear film break up) are indicated by dark areas that appear on the cornea.

Eye dryness can also be seen in autoimmune diseases accompanied by mouth dryness and arthritis. Structural or functional disorders of eyelids, chronic eyelash-base inflammations, and contact lenses are among the causes of eye dryness.

Diagnosis can be made through the medical history of the patient and biomicroscopic method.

If the cause is determined, treatments for eliminating this cause can be applied. Precautions can be taken against environmental factors that may increase the complaints of eye dryness (increasing the number of blinking, increasing the ambient air humidity, adjusting the ambient temperature, changing the ambient air circulation, reducing the ambient light and light reflections, arranging the relationship with the screen in the working place, reducing tobacco smoke and dust in the ambient air, etc.). Apart from these precautions, compensating for inadequate tears constitutes the main purpose of the treatment. Artificial teardrops, gels or topical immunosuppressive medications regulating the function of the lachrymal gland can be administered. In the event that medical treatments are insufficient, lachrymal ducts may temporarily be closed to make the maximum use of existing tears.

Figure 2. Schirmer test (left) and tear osmolarity testing (right).