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Symptoms and Signs of Dry Eye Syndrome

Doctor's Notes on Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a common problem of dry eyes. Types of dry eye syndrome are related to the underlying problem that leads to dry eyes: insufficient production of tears (also called keratoconjunctivitis sicca), poor retention of tears, or excessive evaporation of tears.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include dry eyes, gritty/scratchy or filmy feeling in the eyes, burning or itching in the eyes, blurred vision, vision that varies with time of day, feeling like something is in the eyes, light sensitivity and pain, excess tearing when the eyes become extremely dry or when exposed to wind, intolerance to wearing contact lenses, eye redness, and discharge or crusty material on the eyelashes. Symptoms of dry eye syndrome often worsen in dry climates, windy conditions, higher temperatures with lower humidity, and with prolonged use of your eyes (for example, reading, watching TV), and toward the end of the day.

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.