Dry, irritated eyes can be caused by a number of conditions, such
as certain autoimmune diseases, and are a side effect of certain
medications. They are more common in women and older people.
There isn't any one specific test to diagnose dry eyes. Most
ophthalmologists will as a matter of course examine the eyes.
Frequently, though, the eye examination and test results are
secondary in the diagnostic workup, especially if the problem is
mild. Symptoms and the patient's history are often the key pieces
of information in arriving at a diagnosis. The first-line
treatment for most people with dry eyes remains an
over-the-counter topical treatment of some kind, typically drops.
The prescription cyclosporine drops are usually used after
patients have tried the over-the-counter products.
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