Eye Diseases
Dry Eye


Overview:
Tears maintain the health of the front surface of the eyes and protect it from dryness to provide clear vision. When there is an imbalance in the production of tears, your eyes become dry and the efficiency of your vision may decrease.
 
Dry eye:
Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or produce or poor-quality tears, affecting your vision.
 
Other names: Dry eye syndrome

Causes:
There are 2 main reasons for dry eyes:
  • Inadequate amount of tears. 
  • Poor-quality tears: Tears are made up of three layers: oil, water, and mucus.  A smooth oil layer (the outer layer of tears) helps prevent quick dryness of tears. The water layer (which makes up the majority of tears) cleanses the eyes and removes strange particles.
 
Risk factors:
Factors that make it more likely that you'll experience dry eyes include: 
  • Being older than 65. 
  • Having rheumatism, diabetes, problems with glands, or Sjogren's syndrome.
  • Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid). 
  • Taking antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants.
  • Exposure to wind, dust, dry air or smoke.
  • Sitting in front of screens for long hours.
  • Being a woman.  A lack of tears is more common in women, especially if they experience hormonal changes (menopause).
  • Having diseases that reduce the efficiency of immunity.
  • Using contact lenses for long hours. 
  • Undergoing a vision correction operation such as LASIK.

Symptoms:
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Severe itching
  • Eye redness
  • Stringy mucus near the eye
  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurry vision
 
When to see a doctor?
You should see a doctor if you experience any of the dry eye symptoms or notice a difference in vision.
  
Complications:
Dry eyes can cause damage to the surface of your eyes, including: Corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis which affect the quality of your vision.
 
Diagnosis:
Dry eyes can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. It may include:
  • Patient history to determine the patient's symptoms and whether he has had dry eye symptoms before. 
  • External examination of the eye.
  • Evaluation of the eyelids and cornea using bright light.
  • Measurement of the quantity and quality of tears for any abnormalities using special dyes. 
 
Treatment:
Because dry eyes can be chronic, some medications are used to lessen the severity of symptoms. They include:
  • Using artificial tears. These are eye drops with a solution that resembles tears that you can buy without a prescription.
  • Conserving tears. Keeping natural tears in the eyes longer can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts through which the tears normally drain. The tear ducts can be blocked with tiny silicone or gel-like plugs that can be removed if needed. Or a surgical procedure can permanently close the tear ducts.
  • Increasing tear production. A doctor of optometry can prescribe eye drops that increase tear production.
  • Treating the contributing eyelid or ocular surface inflammation using some eye drops or ointments.
  • A doctor might recommend prescription eye drops or ointments, warm compresses and lid massage, or eyelid cleaners to help decrease inflammation around the surface of the eyes.

Prevention:
  • Keep your eyes clean.
  • Take breaks if you are using screens for long hours. 
  • Increase the humidity in the air at work and at home. 
  • Use glasses instead of contact lenses.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Avoid smoke. 
  • Avoid wind and dust as much as possible. 
  • Avoid sitting in air-conditioned rooms for long periods of time. 
  • Stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. 
 
FAQ:
  • Do the symptoms of dry eyes become more severe in winter?
    • Dry eye symptoms can become more severe with strong winds, dry air, and dust.
 
Myths & Truths:
  • Coffee helps treat dry eye syndrome.
    • Truth: There is no scientific evidence to prove this. But it is advised to drink water to keep your entire body hydrated. 

For inquiries, contact us by email​.

 


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