of the population

Affects almost


of senior citizens

What is dry eye syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is a condition that affects the surface of the cornea and the conjunctiva due to a shortage of lacrimal fluid or because it is of poor quality. As a result, the surface of the eye is not well lubricated, which can lead to eye discomfort, vision problems and injuries to the cornea and conjunctiva.

What causes it?

Dry eye occurs when the lacrimal gland does not secrete enough lacrimal fluid to keep the eye lubricated.

The most common causes are:

  • Decreased secretion due to age. Aging causes atrophy in the cells that are always producing lacrimal fluid
  • Hormonal changes in women (pregnancy, oral contraceptive use and menopause)
  • Environmental factors that produce significant evaporation (wind, air conditioners, heaters, etc)
  • Prolonged reading, which reduces blinking and results in the inadequate distribution of lacrimal fluid and its increased evaporation
  • Some systemic diseases (Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, etc)
  • The use of contact lenses
  • Some ophthalmic surgery procedures
  • Some diseases that scar the surface of the eye (such as severe viral conjunctivitis)

How can it be prevented?

Due to the serious consequences of dry eye (keratitis, scarring, loss of vision, corneal ulcers), regular specific ophthalmic check-ups are recommended.

Detection and early treatment are essential for the improvement and prevention of eye damage. Most at risk are the elderly and women in phases of hormonal change.

Some useful measures exist to prevent dryness of the eyes caused by environmental factors:

  • Avoid exposure to air currents that can cause evaporation of lacrimal fluid (electric fans directed at the face or driving with the windows open, and always wear protective sunglasses when outside, etc.)
  • Avoid dry atmospheres by using humidifiers
  • Protect yourself from environmental pollution and avoid certain places like beaches and the countryside on windy days, as well as household dust, tobacco smoke and solvents
  • Force yourself to blink several times a day and wipe your tear glands often with a towel or makeup removal sponge


Dry eye syndrome causes irritation, itching, redness and the sensation of a foreign body or grit on the surface of the eye, as well as fatigue, heavy eyelids and watery eyes.

Although it may seem contradictory, excessive watering of the eyes is due to inadequate and insufficient lubrication. Our body protects itself by ‘flooding’ the eye surface with poor quality tears that do not provide the necessary nutrients and protective factors.

Associated treatments

When it is not possible to directly treat the cause of dry eye, artificial tears and lubricating ointments can help to control dryness and irritation.

If these treatments do not alleviate symptoms, there is the option of conserving the patient’s lacrimal fluid by blocking the tear ducts and inserting a very small plug to prevent the rapid drainage of tears, thus helping to conserve moisture and protect the eye. Patients with more severe dry eye may require additional treatments.


IMO Institute of Ocular Microsurgery

Josep María Lladó, 3
08035 Barcelona
Phone: (+34) 934 000 700
See map on Google Maps

By car

GPS navigator coordinates:
41º 24’ 38” N – 02º 07’ 29” E

Exit 7 of the Ronda de Dalt (mountain side). The clinic has a car park with more than 200 parking spaces.

By bus

Autobus H2: Rotonda de Bellesguard, parada 1540

Autobus 196: Josep Maria Lladó-Bellesguard, parada 3191

Autobuses H2, 123, 196: Ronda de Dalt – Bellesguard, parada 0071

IMO Madrid

C/ Valle de Pinares Llanos, 3
28035 Madrid
Phone: (+34) 910 783 783
See map in Google Maps

Public transport

Metro Lacoma (líne 7)

  • Lines 49 & 64, stop “Senda del Infante”
  • Line N21, stop “Metro Lacoma”


Patient care:
Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

IMO Andorra

Av. de les Nacions Unides, 17
AD700 Escaldes-Engordany, Andorra
Phone: (+376) 688 55 44
See map in Google Maps

IMO Manresa

C/ Carrasco i Formiguera, 33 (Baixos)
08242 – Manresa
Tel: (+34) 938 749 160
See map in Google Maps

Public transport

FGC. Line R5 & R50 direction Manresa. Station/Stop: Baixador de Manresa


Monday to Friday, 08:30 A.M – 13:30 PM / 15:00 PM – 20:00 PM

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