eyes refer to a condition in the eyes when the tear produced by the tear glands isn’t able to provide proper lubrication to the eyes.
The tear gland might not be producing enough tears or the tears might be unstable, thus leading to damage of the surface of the eye.
Dry Eyes Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments – All About Vision
One can get dry eyes while riding a bike or after looking at a computer screen for several hours. When one has dry eyes, the eye starts to sting or burn as the eye’s surface is not lubricated well enough.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
Some of the common symptoms of dry eyes include:
- Burning and scratchy sensation
- Eye redness
- Stringy mucus in and around the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision
- Watery eyes
- A sensation of having something pricking in your eye
When one observes these symptoms, they can conclude that they have dry eyes, and it is suggested to go to a doctor upon prolonged exposure to these symptoms as the eye surface is getting damaged and treatment is required to avoid any further serious damage to the eye.
Causes of Dry Eyes
There can be multiple reasons for dry eyes. The eye’s tear glands consist of 3 layers:
- fatty oils
- vitreous aqueous fluid
- and mucus.
The combination of these layers keeps the eye surface clean and well lubricated, but a disruption in any of these layers leads to dry eyes. The reasons for disruption in any of these layers can be hormonal changes, autoimmune disease, inflamed eyelid glands, or allergic eye disease. Decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation can also lead to Dry Eyes.
- Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca is a medical condition when the tear production in the eye has reduces thus leading to lack of vitreous aqueous in the eye. It can occur due to ageing, Sjogren’s syndrome, allergic eye disease, Vitamin A deficiency, corneal nerve desentivity, nerve damage in eye surgery, etc.
- In some cases, the oil film in the eye may get clogged, this leads to tear evaporation and thus, dry eyes. Such disruption to the oil film can be caused by Posterior Blepharitis, eye allergy, exposure to wind, smoke, air, etc.
Who is most likely to suffer from dry eyes?
- Those above the age of 50 are likely to suffer from dry eyes and the production of tears by the tear glands get significantly reduced post the age of 50, thus dry eyes is common in them.
- A woman has to go through a lot hormonal changes in their life, and thus it could lead to lack of tears and thus, dry eyes.
- People who consume less amounts of Vitamin A in their eyes are more likely to suffer from dry eyes.
Prevention of dry eyes
Avoid contact with air from hair dryers, car heaters, or any other source with a strong flow of air directly towards one’s eyes.
Taking breaks in between activities that require long visual concentration. This can be done by just closing the eyes for a few seconds or repeated blinking.
The computer screen must be positioned below eye level so as to not open the eyes as wide as required when the screen is above the eye level.
If someone has chronic dry eyes, they must ensure to regularly take eye drops to keep the eyes surface well lubricated.
Treatment for dry eyes
There can be several treatment procedures to dry eyes as the cause of the problem is also quite ranging.
Some of the prescribed medicines for dry eyes includes:
- Eye drops to control corneal inflammation
- Drugs to reduce eyelid inflammation
- Tear stimulating drugs.
Other procedures to treat dry eyes includes:
- Closing of eye ducts to reduce tear loss
- Using light therapy and gentle massaging of the eyes
- Some special contact lenses are also there to lubricate the ye
Dry eyes is considered to be a quite common problem among people, there is no cause to panic as such upon confirming the symptoms as it is easily treatable. Just frequent washing of eyelids and using eye drops, gels or ointments meant to lubricate the eye can help treat the problem.
Amanda Wingfield is a certified Diabetes Management Specialist who also holds an MD in Endocrinology, with certifications from ABIM and AACE. She has a decade of experience serving thousands of patients through her independent practice and has been working in the capacity of an expert diabetes consultant for the past 4 years. Ms. Wingfield is revered by her regular readers for her in-depth research and evidence-based analysis of diabetes medications, supplements, and treatments, and her highly critical style of writing.