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Symptoms of Dry Eyes
It is a known fact that as we age our eyes produce less tears over time. This can be further complicated for those with autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, sjogren's syndrome, ankylosing spondylitis, and many more. Symptoms of Dry Eyes include burning, redness, excessive tearing, excessive blinking, a feeling of grittiness or "sand in eyes", blurred vision and can even include pain depending upon its serverity.
Other signs include white spots on the whites of the eye or enlargening red spots known as pterygium (pronounced "terygium") as seen below.
Above Left: note redness advancing onto cornea on the left side (pterygium). Above Right: see white elevated lesion on whites of eyes.
More severe dry eye may include more discomfort or a painful eye or eyes. Much like a corneal abrasion, if there is poor moisture for the cornea to properly function the cells can become devitalized. Subsequent blurred vision may occur with eventual eye pain. Below is a photo of a patient with rheumatoid arthitis. The green spots on the cornea are the result of a dye inserted into the eye that fill in devitalized corneal cells.
There are many good treatment for dry eye that includes lubricating eye drops and various medical treatments aimed at reducing symptoms quickly as possible and restoring the cornea to its proper health and function.