Dry eye syndrome affects millions of Americans, Elizabeth Tracey reports


You’ve probably experienced the sensation that your eyes are dry. They may also be scratchy or sore. Lauren Gormley, an optometrist at Johns Hopkins, says for millions of Americans these sensations and more serious ones are a daily ordeal and result in a condition known as dry eye. 

Dry eyes sounds very straightforward. Dry eyes, but one of my favorite definitions is that dry eye is a chronic multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterized by loss of homeostasis of the tear film and accompanied by ocular symptoms, which is a mouthful. The ocular surface is everything that is at the interface between the eyeball and the outside world so that is the cornea, the conjunctiva, the eyelids and the tear film.  :30

Gormley says many factors are involved in producing the condition known as dry eye, so a complete assessment with someone familiar with it is required. She says some simple things may help but for many it is a more complex issue that may require a bit of trial and error to manage. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.