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Dry eyes – Symptoms and causes

What is Dry Eye

When your tears are unable to adequately lubricate your eyes, dry eye disease, a common illness, develops. There are various reasons why tears may be insufficient and unsteady. For instance, dry eyes may develop if your tear production is inadequate or of poor quality. The instability of the tears causes inflammation and surface damage to the eye.

Dry eyes are not enjoyable. If your eyes are dry, they could sting or burn. You might experience dry eyes while biking, in an air-conditioned setting, on an aeroplane, or after spending some time in front of a computer screen.

You might feel better at ease with treatments for dry eyes. Lifestyle modifications and eyedrops are two examples of these treatments. These actions will probably need to be taken continuously to control the symptoms of dry eyes.

Risk factors & causes

When the balance between tear production and drainage is off, dry eyes can result. Tears from dry eye sufferers are either insufficient or of low quality.

Too little tears were shed. A number of glands located in and around the eyelids create tears.

  • With ageing, certain medical problems, or as a side effect of some medications, tear production frequently decreases. Additionally, due to increased tear evaporation, environmental factors including wind and dry weather might reduce tear volume. Dry eye symptoms can appear when the eyes’ natural tear production is reduced or when tears evaporate too quickly.
  • Poor quality of tears. Oil, water, and mucus make up the three layers of tears. Each element nurtures and safeguards the front surface of the eye. A thin oil coating protects the water layer from evaporation, while the mucin layer distributes the tears evenly throughout the surface of the eye. Dry eye symptoms can arise if the tears evaporate too rapidly or do not cover the cornea uniformly because one or more of the three tear layers is not functioning properly.

Many factors can lead to dry eyes, including:

  • Age. The natural ageing process includes dry eyes. Over 65s are more likely to encounter some dry eye problems.
  • Gender. Because of hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy, oral contraceptive usage, and menopause, women are more likely than males to experience dry eyes.
  • Medications. Antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure meds, and antidepressants are a few drugs that can decrease tear formation.

What signs or symptoms are there of dry eye?

As a result of dry eye

  • Sensation scratchy, like if something is in your eye
  • Feelings of stinging or burning in your eyes
  • “Red” eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Cloudy vision

How is dry eye treated?

Consult our best optometrist or ophthalmologist about your treatment choices (eye doctor). If so, treating the underlying condition is also necessary to treat the dry eyes.

The following are some typical remedies for dry eyes:

  • Topical eye drops containing cyclosporine The cyclosporine A drops normally take 1 to 4 months to start reducing dry eye symptoms and indications. These drops have been verified as secure. The main side effect is stinging right away following application, which usually becomes better as treatment is continued. Sometimes, in order to expedite the process and lessen the stinging brought on by the cyclosporine A, the doctor will additionally administer corticosteroid drops for two weeks shortly prior to the therapy. The possibility that corticosteroids will result in glaucoma and cataracts prevents their long-term use.
  • Trademark Xiidra® of lifitegrast  The FDA has approved Xiidra for the treatment of dry eye conditions’ symptoms and signs, with an action beginning as soon as two weeks. It is the first medication of the recently authorised class of drugs called LFA-1 antagonists, which works by blocking lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1.

Ointments and artificial tears:

  • Artificial tear production is a palliative (soothing) treatment that temporarily relieves symptoms but does not address the underlying cause of dry eye illness. There are over-the-counter artificial tears available.
  • You might need to experiment to find the drop that works for you since no drop is universally effective. Even when your eyes feel OK if you have chronic (long-lasting) dry eye, it’s crucial to use the drops to keep them moisturised. Use a heavier lubricant, like an ointment, at night if your eyes dry up while you’re sleeping. The lipid in more recent artificial tears helps to stop tear evaporation if you have dry eyes and ocular rosacea. Since preservatives are likely to make your situation worse, if you use artificial tears four or more times each day, you should use unpreserved artificial tears.
  • Temporary punctal occlusion: Occasionally, it’s necessary to close the ducts that drain tears from the eye. The plug will go instantly.
  • Permanent punctal occlusion: (Some medical professionals will skip temporary punctual occlusion and go straight to silicone plugs.) For as long as they are in situ, the permanent plugs will stop tears from falling into the eyes. They can be taken away. The plugs may occasionally arrive. They are reversible. Rarely, the plugs may travel down the tear drain or come out on their own. The plugs enhance comfort and lessen the need for artificial tears, according to several patients.
  • Surgery: To keep more tears near the eye, it may be necessary to permanently restrict the ducts that drain tears into the nose.

These therapies can significantly reduce symptoms.


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