Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why are my eyes so dry?"
I feel like my eyes are dry 24/7. I've tried using eye drops from the drug store but they don't get rid of it. They help for a while but then I need more. Why are my eyes always dry? Is it a disease?
The medical term for dry eyes is keratoconjunctivitis sicca. This is a common problem, and only rarely is due to a more serious disease. For the most part, people that have this problem regularly can get by with using those over the counter eye drops. When you present this problem to your doctor, he or she will want to rule out a disease called Sjogren's syndrome. This is a type of autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks the glands that make tears. This causes people with this disease to have really dry eyes. Treatment is necessary because having dry eyes for a long time can increase your chances of getting an eye infection. The other symptom that people notice with this syndrome is a really dry mouth. This can be severe enough that eating is really tough and cavities frequently develop in the teeth. The test for Sjogren's syndrome is a blood test looking for a specific antibody made by the immune system. The next best step for you is to schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor will want to examine your eyes before determining what the next best step is to get to the bottom of your problem.
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