What is dry eye disease?

Dry eye disease, medically termed keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a prevalent condition marked by insufficient lubrication and moisture on the eye's surface. This condition arises from insufficient tear production, poor tear quality, or excessive tear evaporation. Dr Shastry, specialises in understanding the complex interplay between eye conditions and ocular health, including the management of dry eye disease.

What are the signs of dry eye disease?

Individuals affected by dry eye disease may encounter a spectrum of symptoms, such as enduring dryness, irritation, burning, itching, redness, heightened sensitivity to light, and the feeling of a foreign body in the eye. In advanced instances, sufferers may also endure blurred vision, discomfort while wearing contact lenses, and occasional bouts of excessive tearing as the eyes try to counterbalance the insufficient lubrication.

How do you diagnose dry eye disease?

Dr Shastry employs a comprehensive approach to diagnosing dry eye disease. This involves conducting a thorough medical history review and a detailed eye examination, which may include assessing tear production, tear film stability, ocular surface integrity, and evaluating for any underlying eye conditions that may contribute to or exacerbate dry eye symptoms. Additionally, specialised tests such as tear osmolarity measurements, tear volume assessments, and ocular surface imaging may be utilised to further characterise the severity and underlying causes of the condition.

How do you treat dry eye disease?

Dr Shastry advocates for a personalised treatment approach tailored to the individual needs and underlying causes of each patient's dry eye disease. Treatment strategies may include lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding environmental triggers like dry or windy conditions, increasing humidity levels indoors, and practising good eyelid hygiene. Additionally, artificial tear solutions, lubricating eye drops, and ointments may be prescribed to help alleviate symptoms and improve ocular surface lubrication. For patients with underlying conditions contributing to dry eye disease, targeted management of the eye disorder may also be necessary to achieve optimal symptom relief. In more severe cases, advanced treatment modalities such as punctual plugs, anti-inflammatory medications, and in-office procedures like intense pulsed light therapy or meibomian gland expression are recommended to address underlying tear film abnormalities and improve overall ocular comfort and function.



1. Can dry eye disease be cured?

Although dry eye disease may not always be curable, it can frequently be effectively controlled with specialised treatment and continuous care. Treatment approaches may involve lifestyle adjustments, artificial tear usage, prescription medications, in-office procedures, and addressing underlying systemic conditions that exacerbate dry eye symptoms.

2. What complications are linked with untreated dry eye disease?

Neglecting dry eye disease can result in numerous complications, such as corneal damage, heightened susceptibility to eye infections, and a decline in quality of life due to ongoing discomfort and visual impairments. It is crucial to promptly seek evaluation and suitable management to avert potential complications.

3. Can dry eye disease be prevented?

While it is potentially preventable, certain lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding environmental triggers, maintaining adequate hydration, and practising good eyelid hygiene, can help reduce the risk of developing dry eye symptoms. Regular eye examinations and early intervention for any underlying systemic or ocular conditions may also be beneficial in preventing or minimising the severity of dry eye disease.