CHICAGO—Prevent Blindness, a leading nonprofit eye health organization, has announced that it is joining in support of July as Dry Eye Awareness Month to help educate the public and health care professionals on an eye disease that the National Eye Institute estimates affects nearly 16 million Americans. Prevent Blindness offers a variety of free resources, including fact sheets and shareable social media graphics available in English and Spanish, and a dedicated web page. For the fourth consecutive year, OCuSOFT Inc., a privately held eye and skin care company dedicated to innovation in eyelid hygiene and ocular health, is partnering with Prevent Blindness in support of Dry Eye Awareness Month.

Types of dry eye include “evaporative dry eye,” which occurs when there is an inadequate amount of oil in tears, and “meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD),” a condition where the eyelid glands do not produce enough oil, or it is of poor quality. MGD is the most common cause of evaporative dry eye.

Symptoms of dry eye may include:

● Fluctuating blurry vision
● Burning or stinging
● Particles in the eye
● Gritty, sandy feeling
● Itchiness
● Redness and inflammation
● Stringy mucus
● Extreme sensitivity, especially to cigarette smoke
● Increased sensitivity to light

Once a diagnosis of dry eye has been made, an eyecare professional may recommend the use of eye drops, the group said. Prevent Blindness has created new materials on the proper way to take eye drops, including a printable one-sheet infographic, a new informative video, “How to Use Eye Drops,” featuring Dr. Yara Catoira-Boyle, Visionary Eye Specialist, and a dedicated web page.

Prevent Blindness also offers two Focus on Eye Health Expert Series episodes, including “Dry Eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD),” featuring April Jasper, OD, FAAO, Advanced Eyecare Specialists, and “Dry Eye,” with Stephanie Jones Marioneaux, MD.

"Dry eye can be caused by a variety of factors, and if left untreated may cause damage to the cornea,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness. “Visit an eyecare professional to find out if you have dry eye, and if so, work together as a team to create an effective treatment plan to minimize the effects.”

For more information on dry eye, visit the Prevent Blindness resource page at