Understanding dry eye management

WHAT IS DRY EYE?

Tears keep the surface of the eyes wet, clean and protect from infection. Tears also provide constant moisture and lubrication to maintain the vision and comfort to the eyes. If your eyes do not produce enough tears or if the tears dry up too quickly, the condition is called Dry Eyes.

WHAT CAUSES DRY EYES?

It may be a temporary or a chronic condition . Common causes of dry eyes are:-

  • Dry Dusty climate.
  • Long term use of contact lens.
  • Infrequent blinking secondary to excessive computer work.
  • Skin diseases in and around the eye.
  • Some patients experience temporary dryness in the eye after lasik surgery.
  • Autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, SLE, autoimmune thyroid it is can also cause dry eyes.
  • Menopause can also trigger dry eye.
  • Few medications like anti-histamines, birth control pills anti-depressants, nasal decongestant and blood pressure medications can also ;learn to dry eyes

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DRY EYES?

  • Itching
  • Stinging or burning of the eye
  • Sensation of burning in the eye.
  • Pain and redness such as blood shot eyes.
  • Mucous discharge.
  • Eye fatigue and general tiredness.
  • Difficulty in driving and keeping your eye open while driving.
  • Fatigue after waking up and the need to rub your eye frequently.

WHAT IS THE TREATMENT OF DRY EYE?

  • Blinking exercises of the eye.
  • Cleansing the eyelid with application of warm compress
  • Using artificial tears, gels, lubricating eye drops.
  • Wearing glasses that have side shields which can. Help to slow tear evaporation.
  • Avoiding smoke , dust and air conditioning.
  • Increasing humidity of the surrounding by using humidifiers.
  • Increasing water intake.
  • Avoiding alcohol, nicotine and caffeine intake.

Please remember that dry eye treatment can take my many weeks to months. No single modality can cure the condition permanently. Lifestyle modification remains the single most important factor in providing long term relief. Consult your ophthalmologist if your condition persists.