Dry Eye

Understanding Dry Eye


Dry Eye is a really common condition caused by a problem with your tears. It can make your eye feel dry, scratchy uncomfortable or like there is something in your eye all the time.

Although it can be irritating Dry Eye won’t lead to permanent sight loss and often the symptoms can be managed easily.

We’ve created a guide to Dry Eye that you can download as well as some useful, practical advice. 

Understanding Dry Eye

Dry Eye is caused by a problem with your tears. When you blink you leave a thin layer, called the tear film, over the front of your eye. This tear film keeps the front of your eye healthy and helps the eye focus properly, giving you clear vision.

The tear film is made up of three layers which includes the mucin layer, watery layer and lipid layer. If you don't produce enough tears, if your tears aren't of the right quality or your tears aren't spread across the front of your eye properly then you may develop Dry Eye.

Often Dry Eye is a natural symptom of getting older but can also be affected by other things such as medications, pre existing health conditions, use of contact lenses and eye surgery.

In the below video, Alison talks about her diagnosis of dry eye and how she manages it.

Download our Understanding Dry Eye guide

Our Understanding Dry Eye guide is accredited by the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.

It’s designed to give you a detailed understanding of your eye condition and helpful advice on next steps.


If your eyes feel dry, uncomfortable and irritated or you feel like there’s something in your eye all the time, then you should tell your GP, Optometrist (optician) or Ophthalmologist (hospital eye doctor).

After taking a detailed history and examining the front of your eyes, your optometrist or ophthalmologist may want to carry out further tests to help them decide how to treat your eyes.

The types of test that an optometrist might undertake are covered in detail in our understanding Dry Eye download.


You can’t ‘cure’ Dry Eye, but there are some treatments that can help your eyes feel more comfortable.

Once your ophthalmologist, optometrist or GP has confirmed you have Dry Eye, they will discuss what can be done to help you.

There are three main ways to treat Dry Eye:

  1. Making the most of your natural tears
  2. Using eye drops
  3. Reducing the drawing away of tears

All three of these treatments are looked at in detail in our Understanding Dry Eye download guide. 




"Knowing RNIB is there is so reassuring, like a comfort blanket." - Peter Seaman

You can get support with your eye condition with RNIB

You can get support with your eye condition with RNIBGet in touch

If you've got any questions, speak to us by calling our Helpline on 0303 123 9999.

"Knowing RNIB is there is so reassuring, like a comfort blanket." 
Peter Seaman

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