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Symptoms and Causes of Dry Eye

Click the links below to learn more about Dry Eye symptoms, causes of Dry Eye, and how to determine if you are suffering from Dry Eye.



Dry Eye can often lead to symptoms, such as1-3:

  • Dryness
  • Soreness
  • Pain or stinging
  • Itchiness
  • Burning
  • Excessive tearing
  • Foreign body sensation, which is a feeling that you have something in your eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision
  • Redness

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Dry Eye can occur as a result of4:

  • Reduced tear production—if not enough tears are being produced by your tear glands
  • Tears evaporating too quickly—if your tears are being produced but they are evaporating too quickly once they reach the eye surface

There are a number of factors in Dry Eye that might slow tear production or increase evaporation, including:

  • Natural aging5
    • Women are more likely to feel Dry Eye symptoms after menopause
  • Environmental conditions5-8:
    • Air pollution
    • Dust
    • Dry air
    • Direct wind
    • Air conditioning
    • High altitude
  • Contact lens wear 3,4
  • Medicines, such as antidepressants, sleeping pills, and allergy medications5,7
  • Eye surgery procedures, such as LASIK5,6
  • Medical conditions, such as lupus, Sjögren’s syndrome, or rheumatoid arthritis5,8
  • Poor diet, including a lack of omega-3 fatty acids6,7 and vitamin A4,8

This brief video will explain some of the symptoms and causes of Dry Eye.

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There are several ways for your eye care professional to confirm that you have Dry Eye. However, one of the main ways that he or she can narrow down your diagnosis is by speaking with you.6

Be sure to point out all of the symptoms that you have experienced recently. This will allow your eye care professional to better determine if Dry Eye is the cause of your discomfort.

Click here for a brief questionnaire that might give you some direction on how to discuss your symptoms with your eye care professional.9 Simply complete the form and take it with you to your next office visit.

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Indications and Usage

LACRISERT® is indicated in patients with moderate to severe Dry Eye syndromes, including keratoconjunctivitis sicca. LACRISERT® is indicated especially in patients who remain symptomatic after an adequate trial of therapy with artificial tear solutions. LACRISERT® is also indicated for patients with exposure keratitis, decreased corneal sensitivity, and recurrent corneal erosions.

Important Safety Information

LACRISERT® is contraindicated in patients who are hypersensitive to hydroxypropyl cellulose. Instructions for inserting and removing LACRISERT® should be carefully followed. If improperly placed, LACRISERT® may result in corneal abrasion. Because LACRISERT® may cause transient blurred vision, patients should be instructed to exercise caution when driving or operating machinery. Patients should be cautioned against rubbing the eye(s) containing LACRISERT®.

The following adverse reactions have been reported, but were in most instances, mild and temporary: transient blurring of vision, ocular discomfort or irritation, matting or stickiness of eyelashes, photophobia, hypersensitivity, eyelid edema, and hyperemia.

Talk to your doctor if you have side effects that bother you or that do not go away. You are encouraged to report side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

References: 1. De Paiva CS, Pflugfelder SC. Diagnostic approaches to lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis. Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disorders. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker; 2004:269-308. 2. Pflugfelder SC. Dry eye: the problem. In: Pflugfelder SC, Beuerman RW, Stern ME, eds. Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disorders. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker; 2004:1-10. 3. Stern ME, Beuerman RW, Pflugfelder SC. The normal tear film and ocular surface. Dry Eye and Ocular Surface Disorders. New York, NY: Marcel Dekker; 2004:41-62. 4. The definition and classification of dry eye disease: Report of the Definition and Classification Subcommittee of the International Dry Eye Workshop (2007). Ocul Surf. 2007;5(2):75-92. Available at: Accessed January 5, 2009. 5. Murube J, Benítez del Castillo JM, Chenzhuo L, Berta A, Rolando M. The Madrid triple classification of dry eye. Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol. 2003;78(11):587-594. Available at:
numR=11&mesR=11&anioR=2003&idR=76. Accessed January 7, 2009. 6. The epidemiology of dry eye disease: Report of the Epidemiology Subcommittee of the International Dry Eye Workshop (2007). Ocul Surf. 2007;5(2):93-107. Available at: Accessed January 5, 2009.
7. Management and therapy of dry eye disease: Report of the Management and Therapy Subcommittee of the International Dry Eye Workshop (2007). Ocul Surf. 2007;5(2):163-178. Available at: Accessed January 5, 2009. 8. Bartlett JD, Jaanus SD, eds. Clinical Ocular Pharmacology. 4th ed. Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann;2001:324-325,532,582. 9. Adapted from McMonnies C, Ho A. Patient history in screening for dry eye conditions. J Am Optom Assoc. 1987;58(4):296-301.

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