By Jenilee Matz, M.P.H., Staff Writer, myOptumHealth
Tears aren't just for crying. They help moisturize the eye to help you see. But sometimes the eyes don't produce the right amount or right quality of tears. If your eyes always feel dry, irritated and uncomfortable, you may have a condition known as chronic dry eye.
No more tears?
Tears are needed for good eye health and vision. They spread across the surface of the eye with each blink. Tears:
Tears are a combination of water, oils, mucus and proteins. They are secreted by glands around the eye.
Chronic dry eye occurs when there is an imbalance of these substances or when there are not enough tears to lubricate the eye. Symptoms include:
Who's at risk?
The following factors raise your risk for chronic dry eye:
Chronic dry eye just causes discomfort in most sufferers. Rarely, though, it can be severe and lead to vision problems. If you have any symptoms of chronic dry eye, see your doctor for a full evaluation.
There is no cure for chronic dry eye, but there are treatments to help relieve symptoms. The type of treatment depends on the cause of your dry eye.
The goal of most treatments is to restore tears and give relief:
Other ways to ease symptoms
These tips may also relieve dry eye discomfort:
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