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Dry eye syndrome

  • Definition

    Dry eye syndrome is when the eye is unable to maintain a healthy layer of tears to coat it.

    See also:

    • Conjunctivitis
    • Decreased tearing
    • Sjogren syndrome
    • Vitamin A deficiency

    Alternative Names

    Keratitis sicca; Xerophthalmia; Keratoconjunctivitis sicca


    Causes, incidence, and risk factors

    Dry eye syndrome often occurs in people who are otherwise healthy. It is more common with older age, because you produce fewer tears with age.

    In rare cases, it can be associated with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, and other similar diseases. It may also be caused by heat (thermal) or chemical burns.

    In areas of the world where malnutrition is common, vitamin A deficiency is a cause. This is rare in the United States.