Dry Eye Disease: Prevalence, Assessment, and Management.
Dry eye disease is a chronic condition of the corneal surface marked by persistent symptoms of irritation or burning that can cause inflammatory damage to the cornea and conjunctiva if untreated. Common risk factors for this syndrome include advancing age, female sex, low humidity environments, systemic medications, and autoimmune disorders. Treatments to relieve symptoms include tear replacement, humidification, improved nutrition, and anti-inflammatory ocular agents. Home healthcare nurses can identify signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome and initiate strategies that range from warm compresses to physician referrals for more aggressive treatment. Consistent management of this condition improves quality of life and minimizes damage to the ocular surface.