Dry eye syndrome

Nowadays, when the time spent on different screens plays an essential role in everyday life, the term "dry eye syndrome" is often heard.

In the case of dry eye syndrome, there is a dysfunction of the tear film - reduced tear secretion or increased evaporation. The hydration of the eyes is not sufficient, and eye irritation and discomfort occur. In such cases, visual impairment may also occur.

A tear film ensures high-quality moisturizing of the eye.

The glands ensure the formation of the tear film's upper or lipid layer on the eyelids' sides.

  • When properly functioning, they constantly, with each blink, release lipids, which form the top or lipid layer of the tear film, moisturizing the surface of the eyes and protecting them from drying out and reducing friction between the cornea and eyelids.
  • The tear film also performs a refractive function and supplies the necessary nutrients and immune substances.

f eye hydration is not of sufficient quality, eye irritation and discomfort may occur, as well as visual impairment and a higher risk of corneal and conjunctival injuries.

The most common symptoms of dry eye syndrome are:
  • redness of the eyes;
  • a feeling of wrecking, sand, or foreign body in your eyes - complaints are usually exacerbated by reading, watching TV, driving a car, working with a computer, and performing other activities that put a heavy strain on your eyesight;
  • tearing, which is especially pronounced in windy, cold weather, as well as under the influence of smoke, in a dusty, chemically polluted environment;
  • transient blurred vision;
  • severe eye fatigue;
  • abscesses from the eyes;
  • increased sensitivity to light;
  • discomfort when wearing contact lenses.

The above symptoms usually worsen in the evening as well as in the morning after waking up.

Causes that can cause "dry eye syndrome"

Tear production and its composition begin to decrease after the age of 40 gradually.

  • This is especially true for women, which can be explained by hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, the use of hormonal drugs. Due to hormonal changes, the symptoms of dry eye syndrome can also manifest at puberty.
  • Dry eye syndrome is often associated with other oral diseases, such as inflammation of the joints (rheumatoid arthritis), endocrine disorders such as thyrotoxicosis, diabetes, thyroid disease, etc. c., as well as cardiological, haematological, oncological, mental and autoimmune diseases.
  • Symptoms of dry eye can be manifested by an autoimmune disease such as Sjorgen's syndrome. When dryness of other mucous membranes is also observed - patients often complain of dryness in the mouth, nose, vagina, etc.
  • Dry eye syndrome can also occur due to long-term use of medications, such as anti-inflammatory, antihistamine or sedative agents, analgesics, sleeping pills, antibiotics, and so on.

Other common contributors to dry eye syndrome include:

  • beta-blockers - drugs used to treat glaucoma (Timolol, Betoptic, etc.);
  • any activity with increased visual effort (reading, working on a computer, excessive use of smart devices, driving for long hours, etc.). The eyes blink almost three times less than often. The risk is even higher if vision is intensively used in conditions of inappropriate lighting. When using smart devices, the size of the screen also has a significant impact on eye health - the smaller it is, the greater the load on the vision;
  • unfavourable environmental factors - fumes of chemical substances, smoke, dry, conditioned or heated air of heating devices, wind, etc .;
  • dry eye syndrome is often observed after eye surgeries and after various diseased eye diseases. Even in congenital diseases of the visual organs, the eye can become dry;
  • prolonged use of contact lenses or non-compliance with the conditions of their correct use and hygiene;
  • the use of inappropriate eye drops may exacerbate symptoms.
Treatment of dry eye syndrome

Most often, "dry eye syndrome" can be treated with "artificial tears" - eye drops that are chemically similar to tears and contain the missing nutrients available in different combinations in different eye drops. Eye drops, like a normally functioning tear film, moisturize the eyes, protect them from drying out, reduce friction between the cornea and eyelids, and promote cell regeneration and healing processes.

In severe cases of dry eye syndrome, temporary or permanent occlusion of the tear ducts can be performed by inserting a particular silicone implant into the tear duct to prevent tears from escaping from the eye through the drainage system or by surgically closing them to prevent tears from escaping into the nasal cavity.

In the case of dry eye syndrome, you need to buy new glasses

Sometimes, we face vision loss due to dry eye syndrome, and it is a misconception that glasses can help improve vision in this case.

However, the function of developing the tear film must be restored before the patient's need for glasses or other vision correction can be assessed.

Furthermore, when the eye's surface is dry, it is impossible to determine what optical power a person requires correctly.

Often, to improve visual acuity, it is enough to restore the tear film, and then it may turn out that glasses are not needed at all.

Consequences of long-term mistreatment of dry eye syndrome
  • Loss of eye protection increases the risk of viral conjunctivitis (and vice versa - dry eye syndrome can be a consequence of viral conjunctivitis), which usually starts in one eye and then spreads to the other, causing swelling, redness and constant tearing of the eyelids;
  • As there is a change in the eye's optical system in the case of a dry eye, there may be a marked decrease in vision, such as double vision, blurred vision or blurred images, and so on. It should be remembered that the longer the dry eye syndrome is not treated, the more often visual disturbances are observed.

Prolonged untreated severe dry eye, like any severe eye inflammation, can damage the cornea, increasing the risk of ulceration and scarring of the eye surface, leading to irreversible vision problems.

 

To avoid dry eye syndrome, it is essential to know:
  • if your professional field involves working at a computer for a long time. In that case, you should remember to blink your eyes more often to moisturize them, and it is recommended to rest and exercise your eyes for at least 10-15 minutes every hour. The same goes for long readings, knitting, and so on. Ideally, if you can follow the principle of 20 - 20 - 20, watch every 20 minutes for 20 seconds at a distance of 20 feet (20 feet is 6,096 meters)
  • must not be overly captivated with the use of smart devices;
  • take care of the level of lighting that should be appropriate to the activities;
  • must perform eye hygiene!
  • it's best to ensure an optimal humidity level in the premises, for example, by using a humidifier, especially during the heating season. Green houseplants also help to moisturize the air;
  • it is desirable to avoid smoking rooms and places where the concentration of chemical substances in the air is high (if this is not possible - appropriate protective equipment must be used). Eye "enemies" should also be avoided - dehumidifiers such as hair dryers, fans, air conditioners, etc.;
  • when going outside in windy or sunny weather, it is recommended to wear glasses that cover the eyes as much as possible to limit the adverse effects of wind and ultraviolet on the eyes;
  • the basic principles of a healthy diet and an active lifestyle must be observed and staying in the fresh air as often as possible. It is especially recommended to include more products that contain Omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene (converted into vitamin A in the body), vitamins C, D and E, and the optimal amount of water per day. This is necessary to avoid eye diseases and vision problems and take care of your health in general.

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