“Dry eyes” or “dry eye” syndrome is an eye disease caused by “dry eyes”, which, in turn, is caused either by reduced production of tears or by increased evaporation of tears. Tears are necessary to maintain eye health and to ensure clear vision. People with “dry eye syndrome” either produce an insufficient amount of tears, or the properties of the tear and, as a result, its quality are impaired. Dry eye is a widespread problem, especially for people over 40 and for office workers.
Causes of “Dry Eyes” in the office
Already by the middle of the working day in the office you may feel a bit sluggish and notice that you often rub your eyes. Most likely in your office too dry air. The second cause of the DRY EYE SYNDROME is working at a computer for an eight-hour day, which really affects your eyes. After all, we blink much less when focused on a computer or mobile phone. Included air conditioning, no blinking, fluorescent lighting – all this contributes to eye fatigue, a feeling of itching and dryness, as well as the occurrence of drowsiness.
Did you know that the air in the office is often five to seven times dirtier than the air in the street? Including air conditioning, we always close the windows, creating a sealed “bubble” of dirty air circulating around the office. The source of harmful substances are: office appliances, detergents, even paper. Scary isn’t it? Plants will help clear the air! You can protect sensitive dry eyes from harmful substances yourself by buying a small plant on your office desk. And to remove the unpleasant symptoms of the syndrome will help solutions ophthalmic moisturizing and preferably without preservatives .
Why do we feel dry in the eyes?
With each blink of a century, tears are evenly distributed over the surface of the eye, known as the cornea. Tears provide lubrication, reduce the risk of infection of the eyes, wash away foreign objects, and also keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clean. Excess tears through small drainage canals fall into the inner corners of the eyelids, and then into the side of the nose. The appearance of dry eye syndrome leads to the wrong process of formation of tears and its distribution.
- Not enough tears. Tears are produced by the glands around the eyelids. With age, with various diseases or as a side effect of some drugs, this process is disturbed. Adverse environmental conditions, such as wind, or a dry climate can also affect the amount of tearing due to increased evaporation of moisture from the surface of the eye. When the normal functioning of the gland is disturbed and the tears evaporate too quickly, dry eye syndrome may develop.
- Low quality tears. Tears consist of three parts: fat, water and adhesive (mucin). Each component performs the function of protecting and feeding the surface of the eye. A thin layer of fat helps prevent evaporation of the water layer, while mucin is involved in a uniform distribution of tears on the surface of the eye. If the tear evaporates too quickly or unevenly due to deficiencies in any of the three layers, dry eye syndrome may develop on the cornea.
The most common is a form of the syndrome in which an insufficient amount of an aqueous layer of tears is produced. This condition is called dry keratoconjunctivitis , also called dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome is a complex of signs of xerosis of the surface of the eyeball due to prolonged disruption of tear production or an increase in its evaporation. People with “dry eyes” experience the following symptoms: irritation, sand in the eyes, itchy or burning eyes, sticking of the eyelids, feeling something foreign in the eyes, excessive tearing, discomfort when wearing lenses or blurred vision. Strengthening the syndrome can cause corneal damage and visual impairment. Dry eye treatment is aimed at restoring and maintaining a normal amount of tears in the eyes in order to minimize discomfort and “dry eyes”, as well as to maintain eye health.
What causes “dry eyes”?
The following factors contribute to the emergence of dry eye syndrome:
- Age – dry eye syndrome can be part of the natural aging process. Many people aged 65 and over experience some dry eye symptoms.
- Gender – women are more prone to the syndrome due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives and menopause.
- Medications – some medications, including antihistamines, decongestants , blood pressure lowering drugs, or antidepressants, can reduce the amount of tears.
- Diseases – A person with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, or thyroid problems is more likely to suffer from dry eye syndrome. In addition, problems associated with inflammation of the eyelids, corneas, or eye muscles can cause “dry eyes.”
- Wearing contact lenses impairs the water-fat balance of the cornea, which contributes to “dry eyes”.
- Environmental conditions – exposure to smoke, wind and a dry climate increase the evaporation of moisture, resulting in symptoms of eye syndrome with dryness. The inability to blink regularly, for example, when a person looks at a computer screen for a long period of time, may also contribute to drying out moisture from the surface of the eyes.
- Other factors – prolonged use of contact lenses can be a significant factor in the development of “dry eye syndrome”. In addition, eye surgery, such as laser vision correction, can lead to deterioration of the lacrimal glands and to “dry eyes”.
How to diagnose dry eye syndrome?
Dry eyes can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination. Examination of the patient with a special focus on assessing the quantity and quality of tears produced should include the following steps:
- A patient’s history to determine the symptoms a patient is experiencing, the presence of common health problems, medications taken or environmental factors that may be causing dry eye problems.
- External examination of the eye , including paying attention to the structure and ability to blink.
- Evaluating the eyelids and corneas using bright light and lenses. To diagnose dry eye syndrome and confirm any damage to the eye, an examination can be performed with a slit lamp.
- The study of the quantity and quality of tears on any pathologies. Special dyes are instilled into the eyes in order to better observe the uniformity of its distribution or with tears and isolate any changes in the cornea of the eye due to an insufficient number of tears.
Using the information obtained during the examination of the patient, the optometrist can determine whether he has dry eye syndrome and advise on treatment options.
Dry eye treatment
One of the main approaches used to treat dry eye syndrome in order to increase the number of tears and improve its quality is the use of moisturizing ophthalmic solutions.
Dry eyes can have a chronic condition, but with timely treatment you can keep your eyes healthy with more comfortable sensations and protect your eyesight from external factors.
- Adding tears . Mild cases of “dry eye” can often be cured with the help of targeted addition of a tear in the form of a solution. These drops can be used as needed to supplement the natural moisturizing of the eyes. Ophthalmic Moisturizing Solution does not contain eye irritating additives, does not contain preservatives.
- Saving tears – an additional approach to reducing the symptoms of “dry eyes”, to longer preserve the natural tears in the eyes. This can be done by blocking the tear ducts, through which tears usually flow. The lacrimal ducts can be blocked with tiny silicone or gel plugs, which can be removed if necessary.
- Surgery is used for the final blocking of the tear ducts. In any case, the goal is to keep the existing tears in the eyes as long as possible in order to reduce the problems associated with dry eyes.
- Improving the quality of tears . The best recipe is a moisturizing ophthalmic solution that helps to increase the formation of tears, as well as nutritional supplements with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Treatment of inflammation of the eyelid or cornea. Suitable solution or special ointment. In addition to reduce inflammation will help warm compresses and massage of the eyelids.
You can also help yourself. To relieve dry eye symptoms, the following is necessary:
- Remember to blink regularly when reading or looking at a computer monitor for a long time. Take frequent breaks at work.
- Observe eye hygiene , regularly wash with warm clean water. Increase the level of humidity in the air at work and at home.
- Buy in the office houseplant and humidifier .
- Set a larger font size on your desktop ; tilt the monitor down slightly.
- Wear sunglasses , especially with a well-fitting frame to reduce the effects of wind and sun.
- Follow the diet , including in the diet foods containing essential fatty acids that help reduce the symptoms of “dry eyes.”
- Avoid anything that increases “dry eyes,” such as an overly warm room, a hairdryer, or smoke.
- Drink more fluids (8 to 10 glasses per day).
- Use ophthalmic moisturizing solution to moisturize the eyes
Thus, to prevent the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, you need to eat right, blink regularly, and maintain eye hygiene. And for the treatment of “dry eyes” it is necessary to use moisturizing solutions, such as containing substances in its composition, most similar to a natural tear.