Burning in the eyes, cuts, a feeling of a foreign body in the eye, tired red eyes are the most common symptoms of a condition that we call the dry eye. Dry eye is one of the most frequent reasons for visiting an ophthalmologist. Let’s see what’s behind the difficulties and what you can do to fix them yourself.
What is dry eye syndrome?
A dry eye is a condition characterized by the absence of tears. Tears are necessary for the proper functioning of vision, moisturizing the cornea and conjunctiva, maintaining the purity of the eye, and protecting it from infections, allergens, environmental pollutants, and other foreign substances.
Dry eye syndrome
How to recognize the symptoms of dry eye?
There are many symptoms of dry eye. Problems of lacrimal insufficiency can manifest as follows:
Burning, tingling, pinching, or stinging in the eyes
The sensation of a foreign body in the eye
The feeling of eye fatigue, blurred vision
Surprisingly watery (irritated eyes)
Problems with wearing contact lenses
Visual impairment at night, for example, when driving a car.
Crust formation (drowsiness) during the day
Causes of dry eye syndrome
Tear deficiency occurs for three main reasons: reduced tear output, increased evaporation of tears, or incorrect composition of tears.
The reduction in production at the gap may be due to yšším age, the use of certain medications (anti-allergy, anti-cold, HRT, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, drugs for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, ophthalmic products containing preservatives), certain diseases, for example. Diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis, Shergen’s syndrome, alcoholism, thyroid diseases, vitamin A deficiency, laser vision correction, or lacrimal gland damage (inflammation, irradiation).
Factors affecting the increased evaporation of tears may be:
Windy weather, smoke, dry air, air conditioning, overheated rooms
Situations when we blink less often (reading, watching TV, working at a computer, mobile phone)
Do not close the lids
Wearing contact lenses
Another factor in the formation of dry eyes may be the wrong composition of tears. Tears consist of lipid, mucous and aqueous components. If for some reason (for example, dysfunction of the meimobic glands responsible for the production of the lipid component of the tear) the balance between these components is disturbed, dry eyes may occur. This cause of dry eyes often affects people with eyelid inflammation, rosacea or other skin diseases. In general, people over 50 years of age are more likely to suffer from dry eye syndrome, women are at a higher risk of developing these problems, especially during periods of hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause, taking hormonal drugs).
How is dry eye syndrome treated?
If you have symptoms corresponding to dry eyes, contact an ophthalmologist who will confirm the diagnosis and offer a long-term treatment procedure. Unfortunately, dry eye problems usually persist for life and in some cases can lead to eye damage, so do not underestimate the symptoms. The treatment consists in applying products to moisturize the eyes, the so-called artificial tears, and in observing the established regimes. Visit an ophthalmologist regularly.
Collectively, “artificial tears” are products used to treat dry eyes, the main task of which is to replace natural tears and provide the necessary lubrication of the conjunctiva and cornea. These drugs are most often available in the form of drops or gels. An interesting form is sprayed that is applied with half-closed or closed lids. However, the more viscous the drug, the longer its effect lasts. For gels and high-viscosity preparations, temporary deterioration of vision after application should be expected. Apply artificial tears at night, usually 30 minutes before bedtime. Artificial tears can be used for a long time and applied as needed.
Dry eye syndrome
Additional tips for fixing dry eye problems
In addition to the regular use of moisturizers, there are a number of recommendations that will help alleviate the problem. Watch yourself, which situations worsen your condition, and try to avoid them. Here are the most common tips for patients with dry eye:
Protect your eyes from direct airflow (when drying your hair with a hairdryer, adjusting the air conditioner in the car, when riding a bike…)
Maintain optimal humidity at home.
If you are in a room with dry air, occasionally close your eyes for a while and let them rest.
When you are working at the computer, reading, or watching TV, blink for a while.
Quit smoking and avoid a smoky room.
When working at a computer, set the monitor slightly below eye level – then you will not have to open your eyes so much to prevent excessive evaporation of tears.
Make sure that you have a sufficient drinking regime – hydration is also important from the inside.
Consult with an optician or ophthalmologist about the possibility of wearing contact lenses (if you wear them).
Use only hypoallergenic eye cosmetics, do not forget to carefully remove makeup before going to bed.
Pay attention to a balanced and varied diet, vitamin A and unsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) are good for the eyes.
Do not forget to apply artificial tears regularly.