The condition where there are inadequate tears that helps in nourishing and lubricating the eye is termed as dry eye. The purpose of the tears is to provide clear vision along with preserving the health of the front eye surface. People suffering from this condition generally don’t have sufficient tears or are having bad quality tears. This chronic condition can be mostly seen in old age people.
Medical Conditions : People who are suffering from thyroid problems, arthritis and diabetes have more chances of developing the symptoms of dry eyes. The condition of dry eyes can also develop if there is an inflammation of the surfaces of the eye, outward or inward turning of the eyelids and inflammation of the eyelids.
Gender : There are more chances in women to develop the condition of dry eyes. The factors that lead to dry eyes includes the condition of menopause, hormonal changes due to pregnancy and use of oral contraceptives.
Medications : There are certain medications that can decrease the amount of tears in the eyes leading to the condition of dry eyes. These medications are decongestants, antidepressants, blood pressure medications and antihistamines.
Age : One of the major factor of dry eyes is the natural ageing process. The elderly people who are in between the age of 60-65 may experience the symptoms of dry eyes.
Environmental Conditions : Environmental factors such as dry climates, dry winds and exposure to smoke can ultimately lead to dry eyes. These environmental factors raise the tear evaporation that develops the symptoms of this condition. The long term inability to blink regularly while looking at a computer screen is also one of the condition of dry eyes.
Additional Factors : Over and long term use of contact lenses can also attribute to the condition of dry eyes. LASIK is one the refractive eye surgeries that can lessen dry eyes and tear production.
A complete eye examination is done in order to diagnose dry eye condition. The tests are done to evaluate the quality and quantity of the tears that are created by the eyes include –
This chronic condition can be treated by using different approaches such as –
Conserving the Tears : The approach is to maintain the natural tears in the eyes for a longer period in order to reduce the dry eye symptoms. The tear duct of the eye is blocked by which the tear drains. Gel like plugs and small silicone plugs are used for blocking the tear duct. If required, the tear duct can also be removed. With the help of surgery, a tear duct can be permanently closed. In any case, the approach is to maintain the available tears in the eyes for a longer time in order to lessen the dry eye problem.
Treatment of ocular surface inflammation or the eyelid : The doctor may prescribe eye ointments, lid massage, warm compresses, eyelid cleaners and eye drops. This can help in reducing the inflammation around the eye surface.
Adding Tears : Artificial tear solutions can be used for managing the mild cases of dry eye condition. The artificial tear solutions can be used a number of times in order to increase the production of natural tear. To decrease the irritation of the eyes, preservative free artificial tear can be used that has the very least amount of additives. In some cases the condition of dry eyes in persistent and they do no react to artificial tears. More approaches may also be required for treating dry eyes.
Increasing Tear Production : An optometrist may prescribe eye drops that help in increasing the production of tears. Omega-3 fatty acid can also be recommended which is a nutritional supplement.
The cost of dry eyes treatments is available at a very affordable price in India. The treatment also depends upon the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.