Definition of Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. DES can be associated with inflammation of the surface of the eye, the lacrimal gland, or the conjunctiva; any disease process that alters the components of the tears; an increase in the surface of the eye, as in thyroid disease when the eye protrudes forward; or cosmetic surgery. There are numerous causes of DES including medications, autoimmune and other disorders, eye surgeries, allergies, workplace environments, eye injuries, and aging. DES can be temporary or chronic and, if left untreated, can lead to pain, ulcers or scars on the cornea, and some loss of vision.