Tearing - decreased; Eyes - dry
The following steps may help:
- Try artificial tears, available as either drops or ointment. Ointments last longer, but are thicker and can cause blurry vision.
- Don't smoke. Avoid second-hand smoke, direct wind, and air conditioning.
- Use a humidifier, especially in the winter.
- Purposefully blink more often. Rest your eyes.
Call your health care provider if
Call your health care provider if:
- You have red or painful eyes.
- You have flaking, discharge, or a lesion on your eye or eyelid.
- You have had trauma to your eye, or you have a bulging eye or a drooping eyelid.
- You have joint pain, swelling, or stiffness.
- You also have a dry mouth.
- Your dry eyes do not respond to self-care measures within a few days.
What to expect at your health care provider's office
Your health care provider will take a medical history and perform a physical examination, including a careful eye examination.
To help better understand your dry eyes, your health care provider may ask the following:
- How long have you had dry eyes? Does it involve one or both eyes?
- Do you have it all of the time or does it only occur at certain times, with certain activities, or in certain places?
- Does the dryness seem related to wind, dust, chemicals, sun, or light exposure?
- Does it affect your vision?
- Does it cause pain?
- Do your eyelids close easily?
- Have you noticed any drainage from your eyes?
- Does anything make your dry eyes worse?
- Does anything make your dry eyes better?
- Have you tried artificial tears? Do they help?
- Are you taking any medications? Which ones?
- Have you had surgery or an injury to your eyes or nose?
- Do you have allergies?
- Have you been using any new cosmetics?
- Do you have any other symptoms like dry mouth or joint discomfort?
Your health care provider may perform tearing tests that can help diagnose dry eyes. Artificial tears may be prescribed.
Review Date: 10/31/2009
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.