If explained in a very simple and crisp manner, dry eye is a condition that popped up when your body is unable to moisturize your eyes with enough lubricants. Your set of eyes is one of the most complex, precious, and delicate organs in your body. Even your body knows this, hence your body constantly lubricates your eyes with tears. Tears are made up of oils, lubricants, moisturizers, and antioxidants. Oils, lubricants, and moisturizers contained in tears keep your eyes lubricated and moisturized, while the anti-oxidants in the tears help your eye to fight against bacterial and viral infections. A gland located at the back of the eye secretes the tears.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes are the most common problem in eye hospital outpatients in the United States. Around 15 to 20% of the world’s population suffers from dry eyes.
Dry eyes happen when your body stops producing tears or the number of tears is not adequate to lubricate your eyes. Thus manifesting many symptoms. Symptoms of dry eyes are the following:
- Vision blurriness
- Redness in eye
- Sensitivity to lights
- Mucus in eyes, especially in the morning when you wake up.
- A feeling of something stuck inside the eyes.
- Excessive tearing (watery eyes)
Often, dry eyes may result in excessive tearing of the eyes and this may be found quite strange. The reason behind this excessive watering is that when your eye sends signals to your body about the dry eye condition, and your body floods your eyes with tears to cope with the situation.
What Are The Causes Of Dry Eyes?
The reason behind dry eyes may be often some quite simple issues that can be sorted out with ease or the cause may be an underlying health condition. The causes can be some allergies, autoimmune disorders, hormonal variations, etc. Regardless of the cause, dry eyes disrupt a healthy tear film. Now we can mention the causes for dry eyes in detail.
Allergies are the leading cause of dry eye syndrome. The root causes of allergy may be exposure to wind, dust, sunlight, etc. People with allergies often do have dry eyes also. So there’s an undeniable link between dry eyes and allergies. If allergies are found to be the root cause behind your dry eye condition, then treatment focuses on curing the underlying allergic condition.
2️⃣ Auto-immune Disorders
Certain autoimmune disorders are known to evoke dry eye syndrome in a considerable amount of people. An auto-immune disorder is when your body’s immune system attacks its own healthy mistake out of mistake for outside pathogens. This often results in many conditions like arthritis, dry eyes, etc.
3️⃣ Old Age
People with old age often suffer from dry eye syndrome. This is because the capacity of their tear-producing gland reduces to 50% when they are 50 years or above. This often results in developing dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome due to old age can be easily treated with artificial tear-inducing eye drops.
Certain viral and bacterial infections are known to induce dry eye syndrome. The treatment often includes treating recurrent infections using antibiotics. Infections, if left untreated, can be fatal. Lack of lubrication in the eyes can also worsen the infections.
5️⃣ Eye Injuries
Injury and trauma to the eyes can cause damage to the surface of the eyes and this can often result in dry eye syndrome.
Diagnosis methods and treatment methods of the dry eye syndrome are the following:
- A complete eye examination
A complete eye examination by dilating the pupils with the help of medication. Pupils become quite enlarged and magnified during this process. Your eye specialist can then examine the eyes quite easily under his lens.
- Measuring the quality and quantity of the tears
There are certain measures like the Schirmer test to determine the quality and quantity of the tears. After this procedure, your eye specialist can usually determine whether you are suffering from dry eye syndrome or not.
Treatment methods for dry eye syndrome are the following:
- Anti Inflammatory Drugs
Inflammations on the eyelids and cornea are often the cause of dry eyes or maybe because of dry eye syndromes. In either case, reducing the inflammation may help to a great extent to treat dry eye syndrome.
- Topical Eye-drops
There are certain eye drops and pills that increase the tear production inside the eyes. These medications are often very effective in treating dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that is found in fifteen to twenty percent of the total world population. Dry eyes are the most common cause of outpatient visits in the United States-based eye hospitals. Often dry eyes are caused by a simple underlying problem like allergies, wind blowing, etc or it can be because of some serious underlying conditions like auto-immune disorders, eye injuries, etc. In both cases, proper medical intervention can treat dry eye syndrome and bring the quality of life to normal.