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Common symptoms include, pain, light sensitivity, gritty sensation, itching, redness or blurred vision.

Why you might need it

The eye depends on the flow of tears to provide constant moisture and lubrication to maintain vision and comfort. Tears have a combination of water (for moisture), oils (lubrication) and mucus (for even spreading) as well as antibodies and proteins against infection. These components are secreted by special glands around the eye. When there is an imbalance in this tear system, you may experience dry eyes. Other common symptoms include, pain, light sensitivity, gritty sensation, itching, redness or blurred vision.

There are several causes for dry eye including:

  • Ageing
  • Side effects of some medications
  • Diseases that affect the ability to make tears
  • Structural problems in the eye
  • Drying out of the tear film (this can be due to dry air created by air conditioning, heat or other environmental factors)

Sometimes a person with a dry eye will have excess tears. This is because dry eye syndrome is often caused when the eye isn't getting enough lubrication. The eye sends a signal to produce more lubrication and as a result, the eye is flooded with tears to cure the underlying dryness. 

However, if these tears are mostly water (rather than lubricating oils) they will not coat the eye surface properly. Because these emergency tears tend to arrive too late, the eye needs to regenerate and treatment is necessary.

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

In most cases, your GP will be able to treat dry eye, however, if the diagnosis is uncertain, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist.

How much does it cost?

A fixed price for this treatment may be available on enquiry and following an initial consultation.

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

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Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.