What Is Dry Eye?

                                      What Is Dry Eye?


Dry eye is a condition that leaves your eyes feeling scratchy, burning, and sensitive to lightweight. The causes of dry eye can be not enough tears being created or the tears that are created aren't of good quality to keep the eyes moist.

Dry eye happens when the glands around the eye, manufacture fewer tears because of age or different reasons, or the makeup of the three layers of tears that is oil, water, and mucus is not sufficient.

This article will look at the symptoms, causes, and coverings of dry eye.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye symptoms will embody the following:

  •        Feeling like having sand in your eyes
  •        Experiencing a burning sensation in eyes
  •        Blurry vision that happens sporadically
  •        When you get tired when reading for long
  •        Cannot wear contact lenses for long
  •        Getting eye discharge
  •        Noticing your eyes are either watery or terribly dry every now and then
  •        Finding you're unable to cry 
  •        Having tired eyes

Types of Dry Eye

Typically, you will have can get either of the two types of dry eye disease, including:

  • Aqueous tear deficiency, when the eye doesn't manufacture enough tears.
  • Evaporative dry eye, when there's not enough lipid or oil within the tears which results in increased evaporation of the tears.

Causes of Dry Eye

Dry eyes can be caused by several reasons. These include

  • When there are not enough tears to keep the surface of your eyes moist because of a condition that inflames the tear ducts, like Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, or arthritis (these are all autoimmune diseases in which your own body system attacks your own tissues).
  • When the makeup of the tears permits them to evaporate too quickly. This could be because of conditions like blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) or meibomian gland dysfunction in which the glands that manufacture oil are required to stay the eyes moist.

What Medications Causes Dry Eye?

Certain medications are able to cause tear-production problems which cause dry eye, including:

  • Antihistamines, like Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Claritin (loratadine), or Zyrtec (cetirizine)
  • Antidepressants, like Celexa (citalopram) or Prozac (fluoxetine)
  • Blood pressure medicine, like beta-blocker, Lopressor (metoprolol tartrate), Inderal (propranolol) and Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate)
  • Cold medications containing decongestants.

How to Treat Dry Eye?

If your case of dry eye is not strong, then the treatment could involve some home remedies or over-the-counter (OTC) treatments. These could include:

  • Using artificial tears
  • Applying heat to your eyelids or massaging 
  • Taking supplements, like omega-3 fatty acids
  • Make sure your surroundings are moist enough by using a humidifier
  • Scrubbing your eyelids

Keep in mind, though, that if over-the-counter steps do not work, you ought to contact an eye doctor for the right treatment.

Complications and Risk Factors

Usually, symptoms of dry eye are often effectively treated so the condition is not that problematic. However, if dry eye isn't treated, additional serious symptoms will emerge. These include:

  • Development of ulcers: these are sores on the clear corneal dome over the eye.
  • Scarring of the eyes happens when an opacity develops, and therefore the commonly clear corneal tissue will not let light through.
  • Losing some of the vision

Some women are extra vulnerable liable to this condition. These women are:

  • Who menstruate: Women who are perimenopausal (around menopause) or menopausal (when it’s been twelve months without the menstruation cycle), can find themselves with dry eye. This group of women could have symptoms like foreign body sensation and burning. The ever-changing levels of hormones (such as estrogen and androgen) could also be the underlying cause since these hormones will have an effect on tear film which is a skinny fluid layer within the eye.
  • Women who are pregnant: Because of the hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, pregnant women are susceptible to dry eye.
  • Women who have had refractive surgery: Another group of women that may have dry eye are those who've undergone refractive surgery like LASIK (laser-assisted in place keratomileusis). In this, a flap is created and tissue is removed below it to reshape the clear corneal dome. After cutting the flap, the corneal tissue could become less sensitive and, as a result, fewer tears are produced.
  • Women living in a dry environment: Women who live in a dry environment, like a desert or who are subjected to heaps of smoke, could develop dry eye symptoms.

Are There Tests to Diagnose the reason for Dry Eye?

If you believe you have got dry eye, you'll have to visit an eye specialist to verify this. The specialist will perform some tests that may determine if your eyes are dry and what are the reason. These tests include:

  • Schirmer's test: This test tells the specialist if you're creating enough tears or not. The test involves desensitising the eye's surface and leaving a tiny strip of paper on the eyes for 5 minutes. It is to see the quantity of moisture on the paper.
  • Tear breakup time testing: This helps the specialist to see the quality of your tears. The doctor can place some dye in your eye and have you blink to spread it around. Then, you'll be asked to stop blinking so they can see how long the dye in the tear film continues to cover the surface. If the tears evaporate quickly, that may be the source of you getting dry eye.

When to see an eye specialist?

Dealing with symptoms of dry eye is often devastating. You should go to an eye specialist if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • You experience pain in the eye or it turns red.
  • The eyelids start to droop or the eye begins to bulge.
  • You notice discharge, see a sore on the eye or around it or find flaking.
  • In addition to dry eyes, you further notice that your mouth is dry and your joints are stiff or paining.
  • The eye has turned black-and-blue.
  • You find after some days that home remedies are simply not enough to alleviate dry eye symptoms.

Dry eye will occur when there are either not enough tears being created or the quality of the tears is not good. Symptoms can include persistent sensation and periodic blurriness, among others.
Dry eye treatments may include over-the-counter remedies like using artificial tears, applying heat cloths to the lids, and unclogging oil glands on the lashes with the help of scrubs.

Women who are susceptible to this condition are pregnant women or menopausing women, who have undergone refractive surgery, and women living in dry environments. If your eyes do not show any improvement with over-the-counter measures or it worsens, it is important for you to consult with an ophthalmologist.

Previous Post Next Post