Caption: Do you often feel that your eyes are irritated or get red eyes? Do your eyelids feel heavy or have the sensation of a foreign object in your eye? Don't brush these symptoms off as just eye fatigue, you could have dry eye syndrome. The Singapore National Eye Centre explains (SNEC) explains. (iStock photo)


Dry eye syndrome is part of the natural ageing process. But this condition doesn't just affect the elderly, it affects those going through hormonal changes.

People suffering from certain ocular and systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems, and those on medication such as antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure pills and antidepressants, are also more likely to have dry eyes.

Lifestyle too can play a part. Constant exposure to smoke, wind and dry environments may also lead to dry eye. This was shared by the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), a member of the SingHealth group.


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Dry eye syndrome is a condition that is often easily missed. Many do not know they have it and just brush off the symptoms as eye fatigue or tiredness.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:

  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Eyelids which feel heavy or have a sensation of sand or a foreign object in the eye
  • Occasional blurring of vision
  • Watery eyes which may be a secondary reaction to irritation of the eye

Dry eyes are also one of the leading causes of contact lens intolerance or discomfort. This can lead to irritation, due to dry eye, hypoxia, or to lens protein deposits, and immune responses to these deposits.


Related article: Easy remedies for dry eye syndrome


Importance of tears

Tears are more than just emotional indicators comprising salty water. They are a complex mixture of oil, water and mucus, created by three different "production factories" in the eye.

Sufficient quality and quantity of tears are essential for good vision, as they maintain a healthy and clear refractive surface. When your eyes are unable to produce sufficient tears, or when the tears don't have the correct mix of oil, water and mucus, it causes dry eye syndrome.


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