Don’t Use the Term “Dry Eye”- Use Dysfunctional Tear Syndrome

February 5, 2011

“Dry eye” is a misnomer. It confuses patients- how can their eyes be dry, when the most common symptom is tearing?!

Better to use the term “dysfunctional tear syndrome”. The tears work properly when all three components (the aqueous, mucin and oily layers) are present in their correct proportions. If not, then even though you have plenty of tears, they don’t lubricate your eye properly, and your eyes will feel dry- even though tears are plentiful and rolling down your cheeks.

There are many causes of this syndrome, and your ophthalmologist needs to examine your eyes and listen to your complaints to figure out the cause and the treatment. Sometimes trial and error is the only way. But throwing artificial tears at you is not the way to go.




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