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Dry eye disease, also called dry eye syndrome, or ocular surface disease, is an extremely common condition that affects men and women of all ages, especially those over 40. Inflammation and an imbalance (not necessarily a deficiency) of the tear film are the underlying mechanisms that cause dry eye. When quality tears are not able to produce the proper balance, the ocular surface become inflamed.

Common symptoms of dry eye, as described by patients, include:

  • Dryness
  • Burning
  • Light sensitivity
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Ocular pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Visual fatigue
  • Discomfort

The prevalence of dry eye increases with age and is far more common in women. Other risk factors include the use of certain medications, autoimmune inflammatory diseases, contact lens wear, LASIK and refractive surgery, and menopause

Quality of life and daily activities can be greatly impacted by dry eye symptoms, creating a significant psychological impact.  Patients have reported a willingness to trade years at the end of their lives to be free of dry eye disease.

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