Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye syndrome

If your eyes are tired, itchy, or watery, and reading becomes completely impossible by the evening, you may have dry eye syndrome. It is not worth putting up with it: in the long term, this unpleasant condition leads to constant irritation and even the appearance of scars on the cornea.

This is a fairly common eye problem. Many patients turn to the Maerchak Laser Eye Microsurgery Clinic with the question of how to treat the “dry eye” syndrome.

The condition is dangerous because it makes the cornea susceptible to infections and inflammatory processes, reduces visual acuity. Increased dryness of the surface of the eyeball interferes with laser vision correction and treatment.


The following symptoms indicate a possible dry eye syndrome:

  • burning, itching in the eyes,
  • fatigue,
  • Pain in the eyes,
  • ripple,
  • sensation of dryness of the cornea,
  • increased sensitivity to light
  • blurry vision,
  • feeling of sand in the eyes, the presence of a foreign body,
  • redness of the eyeballs.

Oddly enough, tearing is also a symptom of the syndrome. The fact is that the violation of the integrity of the tear film includes a compensation mechanism – more tears are produced, which, however, cannot restore the normal protective coating.


The tear film washes the eye, moisturizes its surface, removes dirt, microorganisms and dead cells. Normally, it consists of three layers:

  • The mucin component produced by the cells of the conjunctiva. Thanks to this layer, the tear film is evenly distributed over the anterior surface of the eyeball and adheres to it.
  • The aqueous layer is a product of the work of the lacrimal glands. It provides the cells of the cornea with nutrients.
  • The lipid component that covers the aqueous layer and protects it from evaporation. This fluid is produced by the meibomian glands.

Problems in any of these layers rupture the tear film and can trigger the syndrome.

Two main causes of the pathological condition:

  1. violation of the ratio of components, which leads to rapid evaporation of the film;
  2. insufficient secretion of tears.

Risk factors

  • Gadgets and monitors. In front of the monitor, we blink less often, so the tear film evaporates too quickly and does not have time to renew itself.
  • Driving, prolonged concentration on something also reduce the frequency of blinking.
  • Contact lenses. You can cope with this with the help of special contact lenses.
  • Age. The syndrome is typical for people over 50 years of age, in whom tear production is reduced.
  • Menopause. Hormonal changes affect the production of fluids that bathe the eyeball.
  • Air conditioners, heaters reduce air humidity, the eye surface becomes dry faster. For the same reason, frequent flyers suffer from dry eye syndrome.
  • Smoking.
  • Systemic diseases: diabetes mellitus, thyroid disorders, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Medicines: antihistamines, antihypertensive drugs, birth control pills, antidepressants.
  • Problems with the eyelids, such as blepharitis, which blocks the meibomian glands, disrupting the production of mucin.
  • Dry eye syndrome also accompanies some operations, for example, blepharoplasty, refractive surgery. But in this case, the discomfort usually goes away on its own.


Before you run to the pharmacy and buy drugs for the treatment of dry eye syndrome, it is important to understand the cause of the discomfort, that is, to be examined by an ophthalmologist. In addition to examining and questioning the patient, the doctor analyzes tear production using special tests.

Depending on the cause, intensity of symptoms, the treatment of dry eye syndrome goes in three directions:

  • increase the secretion of natural tears;
  • moisten the eye surface with artificial tears;
  • slow down the evaporation of the tear film.

If the “dry eye” is based on an infectious disease, treatment begins with it.

Ophthalmologists of our Clinic are attentive to the health of patients, so they tell everyone how to increase tear production and restore the natural tear film. If non-drug methods are ineffective, the ophthalmologist selects drops.

In severe cases, the lacrimal ducts are blocked with silicone plugs that retain fluid on the cornea.


For those who want to maintain healthy vision and avoid the unpleasant symptoms of a “dry eye”, our ophthalmologists advise you to follow simple rules:

  • Gently clean the eyelids to prevent inflammation.
  • Gently massage the eyelids with clean fingers – this removes excess secretion from the glands.
  • Include foods rich in omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in your diet.
  • Try to spend less time in front of the monitor, periodically be distracted and do exercises for the eyes.
  • Visit an ophthalmologist every year for a preventive examination. If you feel any discomfort in your eyes, contact your doctor immediately. At an early stage, the tear film can be stabilized without medication or surgery.

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