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Man applying eye-drops

Dry eye disease

Dry eye disease (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) – or DED – occurs when there’s a problem with the tear film that normally keeps the eyes moist and lubricated, leading to inflammation and damage. Either tear fluid is no longer produced in sufficient quantity, the quality of tear fluid has changed or the tear fluid evaporates too much.1

Dry eye disease is more prevalent in females and older people.1 It’s estimated that more than 15% of people aged 65 or over have some kind of dry eye disease.2 Symptoms include red, stinging or itching eyes or the sensation of a foreign body. The eyes may be sensitive to light or feel tired, even painful. Sometimes there may be a reflexive production of tears when the eye becomes irritated, or blurring of vision. There are multiple causes including low blink rate which can result from prolonged screen use.3


  1. National Eye Institute. Dry eye. Available at: Last accessed May 2019
  2. Eye News UK. Emerging developments in dry eye. Available at: Last accessed May 2019
  3. Blinking Matters. Dry eye syndrome. Available at: Last accessed May 2019