Dry Eyes: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

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Overview

When tears can't adequately lubricate the eye, dry eye develops.

The likelihood of developing dry eye conditions rises with age. Additionally, it occurs more frequently in post-menopausal women. The eye could become dry, irritated, and red. The main signs of dry eyes are discomfort and light sensitivity, and dryness can be lessened with lubricating and prescribed eye drops.

Your eyes may sting or burn if you have dry eyes. In some circumstances, such as on an aeroplane, in an air-conditioned room, while riding a bike, or after staring at a computer screen for a while, dry eyes can cause utmost irritation.

You might feel at ease after receiving dry eye treatments. Changes in lifestyle and eye drops are examples of these treatments. To manage the symptoms of dry eyes, you'll probably need to go for a consultation with an ophthalmologist.

Eye drops for dry eyes are used to lubricate eyes and help maintain moisture on the outer surface of your eyes. Such eye drops may be used to treat dry eyes that result from ageing, certain medications, a medical condition, eye surgery, or environmental factors, such as smoky or windy conditions.

Symptoms of Dry Eyes

Dry Eyes Symptoms

The following are the signs and symptoms of dry eyes, which typically include both eyes:

  • An itch, sting, or burning sensation in your eyes
  • Eye Stringy mucus in or around
  • Responsiveness/Sensitivity to light
  • A reddened eye is seen as a dry eyes symptom
  • A feeling that something is in your eyes
  • Using contact lenses is challenging
  • Driving at night can be difficult
  • The body's reaction to dry eyes' irritability is watery eyes
  • Blurry Vision or eye tiredness can be a dry eyes symptom too

Dry Eyes Causes

Numerous factors interrupt the normal tear film and cause dry eyes. Fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus are the three layers that make up your tear film, and this mixture often maintains the lubricated, smooth, and clear surface of your eyes. Dry eyes can result from issues with any of these layers.

There are several causes of tear film failure, including hormonal changes, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory glands in the eyelids, and allergic eye conditions. Reduced tear production or increased tear evaporation may cause dry eyes in some people.

Causes of Dry Eyes

Decreased tear production

Insufficient production of aqueous fluid, the liquid component of tears, can cause dry eyes. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the diagnosis for this ailment (ker-uh-toe-kun-junk-tih-VY-tis SIK-uh). Reduced tear production is frequently caused by the following:

  • Ageing
  • Certain illnesses, such as Sjogren's syndrome, allergic keratitis, lupus, scleroderma, graft-versus-host disease, sarcoidosis, thyroid issues, or vitamin A deficiency
  • Several medications, including those for Parkinson's disease, high blood pressure, acne, birth control, hormone replacement therapy, decongestants, and antidepressants

Although the symptoms of dry eyes associated with this technique are typically transient, corneal nerve desensitivity is brought on by using contact lenses, nerve injury, or laser eye surgery.

Increased tear evaporation

Meibomian glands, tiny glands that create an oil coating on the edge of your eyelids, may block. People with rosacea or other skin conditions are more likely to have blocked meibomian glands which can cause dry eyes.

Increased tear evaporation is frequently caused by the following:

  • Oblique blepharitis (meibomian gland dysfunction)
  • Blinking less frequently tends to happen when you have certain disorders, like Parkinson's disease, or while you're concentrating on something, like reading, driving, or using a computer
  • Eyelid issues such as ectropion (turning outward) and inversion (turning inward) (entropion)
  • Eye irritation
  • Contaminants in topical eye drops
  • Smoke, wind, or dry air
  • Lack of vitamin A

Although the symptoms of dry eyes associated with this technique are typically transient, corneal nerve desensitivity is brought on by using contact lenses, nerve injury, or laser eye surgery.

Risk factors related to Dry Eyes

Several things increase your risk of developing dry eyes, including:

  • Being over 50 years old: Your tear production tends to decrease as you age. People over 50 are more likely to have risk factors related to dry eyes.
  • Being a woman: Females tend to cry less frequently than males, particularly if they are going through menopause, taking birth control pills, or experiencing hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy.
  • Eating a diet low in omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in fish, walnuts, and vegetable oils, or vitamin A, which is present in the liver, carrots, and broccoli.
  • Wearing contacts or having undergone refractive surgery in the past can be a risk factor related to dry eyes.
Complication of Dry Eyes

Dry Eyes Complications

Those who have dry eyes complications may encounter these issues:

  • Eye ailments: Your eyes' surface is shielded from infection by your tears. You could experience an increased risk of eye infection if your tears are insufficient
  • Damage to the surface of your eyes: Severe dry eyes can cause eye irritation, corneal surface abrasion, corneal ulcers, and vision loss if left untreated
  • Reduced standard of living: Daily tasks like reading might be challenging when one has dry eye complications

Dry Eyes Prevention

If you have dry eyes, be aware of the circumstances that are most likely to make them worse. Then, figure out how to avoid those circumstances for dry eye prevention. For example:

  • Don't let the air blow in your eyes: Avoid shining fans, air conditioners, automobile heaters, or hair dryers directly into your eyes.
  • Increase the air's humidity: A humidifier can add moisture to the dry interior air throughout the winter and prevent dry eyes.
  • Think about donning a pair of wraparound sunglasses or other safety eyewear: To protect against wind and dry air, safety shields can be fitted to the tops and sides of eyewear. Inquire about shields at the eyewear store.
  • Spend some time with your eyes closed: Alternately, blink many times for a few seconds to assist your tears to fall evenly across your eyes.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings: High altitudes, arid regions, and aircraft cabins can all have exceptionally dry air. Close your eyes for a few minutes to prevent tear evaporation while in such an atmosphere.
  • Position your computer screen below eye level: You will open your eyes wider to observe the computer screen if it is higher than eye level. To avoid widening your eyes, place your computer screen below eye level. This might prevent your tears from evaporating too quickly in between eye blinks.
  • During prolonged tasks, take eye rests: Take regular eye breaks if you're reading or working on something that requires visual focus.
  • Stop smoking and avoid doing it: If you smoke, get your doctor's advice to develop a quit-smoking plan that has the best chance of success for you. If you don't smoke, avoid being among smokers. Smoke might make symptoms of dry eyes worse.
  • Regularly use artificial tears: Even when your eyes feel OK, if you have chronic dry eyes, utilise eye drops to keep them adequately lubricated.

Artificial Tears

Artificial tears are eye drops used to moisturise the outer layer of your eyes and lubricate dry eyes. These eye drops may treat dry eyes brought on by ageing, specific drugs, a medical condition, ocular surgery, or external causes, including windy or smoky environments.

Dry eyes can be treated with artificial tears over the counter, and no single product is best for all cases. Before you locate the best brand, you should test a few others.

In addition to moisturising your eyes, some artificial tears encourage eye healing, while others aim to slow down tear evaporation. Thickening agents, which retain the solution on the surface of your eyes for longer, may also be present in artificial tears.

Eye Drops for Dry Eyes Treatment

There are various kinds of eye drops available for dry eye treatment. Preservatives are either present or absent in over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops, often known as artificial tears or lubricating drops, and they are offered as a liquid, gel, or cream.

Prescription eye drops reduce inflammation and encourage the production of more tears. They're for cases of more extreme dry eye.

  • Eye Drops with preservatives: This type frequently comes in multidose bottles and contains substances (preservatives) that prevent bacteria from growing once the bottle has been opened. The preservatives may irritate your eyes if you have moderate or severe eye dryness.
  • Preservative-free eyedrops: This type is generally advised if you use artificial tears more than four times per day or have moderate to severe eye dryness because it has fewer ingredients. Eye Drops without preservatives could be sold in single-dose vials.
  • Additionally, non-prescription gels and gel inserts for artificial tears are offered. These could result in a brief Blurry Vision.
Treatment of Dry Eyes by Eye Drops
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