Dry Eyes: Tips and Treatment of Managing Your Symptoms

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March 6, 2023

Do you frequently experience discomfort, irritation or scratchiness in your eyes? If so, you’re not alone. 

While ageing is a natural part of life, it can lead to various issues including dry eye disease. This problem may arise due to a number of factors, including physical health and lifestyle influences. Dry eyes can be very painful, and in some cases, this can even lead to an inflammation of the conjunctiva. 

According to recent studies, about 14.6% of our nation’s population suffers from dry eye syndrome, medically known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca. As our tears are made out of three layers; the outermost layer, the lipid layer, followed by the aqueous layer and then the mucous layer, instability in any of these layers can lead to dry eyes, due to the various glands in our eyes being less effective. Here’s most of what you need to know about dry eye disease and how you can go about it!

We all have natural lenses inside our eyes. Naturally, as light rays enter the eye, the lens bends itself and must be transparent to help us see clearly. You might have cataracts if your lens has developed a hazy coating, much like looking through a dirty or foggy car windshield. With cataracts, things appear cloudy, blurry, or less vibrant.

The amount of pressure your optic nerve can bear determines whether you develop glaucoma, and this quantity varies for each individual. Glaucoma may affect people of all races and genders. Although it is more common as people get older, around 60 years old and above.

Why Are My Eyes So Dry? (Types of Dry Eyes)

Dry eyes might occur for two leading causes. Either your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or they don’t stay in your eyes long enough to keep them moist. Both types of dry eye might occur simultaneously or only on one side.

  1. Evaporative dry eye occurs when the edge of your bottom lid (also known as meibomian glands) is blocked, which causes a deficiency in the oily layer of the tears. This fastens the evaporation of our tears. 

  2. Aqueous tear-deficient dry eye is a disorder in which the gland located within the orbit above the lateral end of the eye (medically known as lacrimal glands) fails to produce enough of the watery component of tears; the second layer, to maintain a healthy eye surface.

How Is Dry Eye Syndrome Diagnosed? (Symptoms of Dry Eyes)

Since the disease generally comes from anything that makes us blink less and overexpose the ocular surface (the outer layer of the eye), evaporative dry eye is the most common form of dry eye illness.

To put it another way, besides wearing contacts or having allergies, which can also cause a subset of the disease, daily activities like looking at computer and smartphone screens cause our eyes to get dry. This may lead to more-noticeable symptoms. Take a look at the signs to identify if you need to visit the optometrist. 

  • A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue

Do Dry Eyes Go Away? (Treatment of Dry Eyes)

For most people with occasional or mild dry eye symptoms, it’s enough to regularly use over-the-counter eyedrops (artificial tears). Sometimes other treatments are necessary, depending on what is causing your dry eyes. In some cases, treating an underlying health issue can help clear up the signs and symptoms of dry eyes. This may mean simply changing one of your medications. Treatment could be as involved as surgery of the eyelids.

1Eye Drops & Oral Medications

Nonprescription artificial tears are a good starting point, these can be used as often as needed to supplement natural tear production. Preservative-free products are generally less irritating to the eyes, so choose these whenever you can. An optometrist may suggest more potent remedies if the first ones don’t work. Not forgetting, taking an omega-3 fatty acid nutritional supplement may also help.

2. Daily Habits (Lifestyle & Environment)

A dry eye can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which can also worsen the condition. Albeit some of these daily routines may be beneficial for you to adopt and generally cope with this condition, whether lifestyle or environment.  

Lifestyle

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes and apply a warm compress to your eyelids several times a day.
  • Aim for a full night’s sleep every night while using a humidifier whenever possible.
  • Reduce screen time. If possible, lower the height of your screen so you’re looking slightly down.
  • If you wear contact lenses, make sure you’re wearing and cleaning them properly.
  • During lengthy jobs, be sure to take pauses to avoid straining your eyes.


Environment 

  • Try to avoid smoke and other air pollutants.
  • Wear sunglasses or tinted glasses whenever you’re outdoors.
  • Protect your eyes from windy conditions with large glasses or wraparound frames.
  • Try to avoid the breeze from fans and heating and air vents.


3. Devices & Procedures

The use of intense-regulated pulsed light (IRPL) therapy to treat dry eyes is relatively recent. Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), the most typical cause of chronic dry eye, can be effectively treated with it.

By enhancing meibomian gland activity, unclogging meibomian glands, lowering inflammation, and enhancing tear film quality and stability by repairing the lipid (oil) layer of the tear film, IRPL targets all elements of meibomian gland dysfunction. It is also one of the only medicines capable of possibly regenerating the structure of the meibomian gland.

  • Punctal occlusion

This is a procedure in which a plug is inserted into the tear drain of your lower eyelid. Your doctor can use a temporary plug that dissolves on its own, or you can have one made of silicone that must be removed by a doctor.

  • Surgery

A surgeon can tighten your lower eyelids to help your eyes hold on to tears.

The Bottom Line

All things considered, when your vision is compromised, you can lose sight of things that are important to you. Whether it’s driving, working or reading a book, we as humans rely heavily on our eyesight. With this in mind, VISTA Eye Clinic takes great pride in providing the best possible care for your vision at an affordable price! Our mission is to enhance your vision so that you can live your life without any limitations!

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