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Dry Eye Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Dry eye does not cause any serious problems other than discomfort. Know more about it in details.

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Dry Eye Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
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Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which your eyes are unable to maintain the sufficient levels of tears to lubricate your eyes or provide a certain level of moisture.

Tears cover the surface of the eyes and wash off dust, debris and micro-organisms that might enter the eye, damage the cornea and cause bacterial infections.

Dry eye syndrome can affect a person at any age even if they are healthy. However, it is more common in women and older people. Around 5 million people around the age of 50 suffer from dry eye syndrome in America (National Eye Syndrome).

The condition is only uncomfortable and does not cause any serious issues like loss of vision.

Let's know more about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for dry eye syndrome.

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Dry Eye Syndrome: Symptoms 

According to the doctors of Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:

  • Stinging sensation in the eyes

  • Burning or scratchy sensation

  • Sticky mucus around the eyes

  • Red eyes

  • Feeling as if something is there in your eyes

  • Sensitivity to light

  • Finding it difficult to wear lenses

  • Difficulty while driving at night

  • Watery eyes

  • Eyes fatigue

  • Blurred vision

Dry Eye Syndrome: Causes

A healthy eye is always covered with a layer of fluid called tear film which prevents the eye from becoming dry and allows you have a clear vision.

There are three main components in the tear film- the outer oily component, the middle watery component and innermost mucus like component.

According to the American Optometric Association, Problems with any of these components can cause the dry eye syndrome. Other causes of the condition include:

  • Side effects of certain medicines like antidepressants, birth control, blood pressure, etc.

  • Insufficient secretion of the oil

  • Hormone Replacement therapy

  • Constant exposure to dry air or wind

  • LASIC eye surgeries

  • Wearing contact lenses for long hours

  • Sitting at the computer for long hours

  • Less blinking

  • Allergies

  • Aging

Dry Eye Syndrome: Diagnosis 

According to the American Academy of Opthalmology, dry eye syndrome can be diagnosed while a regular eye examination.

  • The doctor might check the eyelids, upper layer of the eyes and the way you blink them.

  • They may take schirmer test and others to check the levels of tears or how much tears does your eyes produce.

  • Eye drops or special dyes are used to check the staining pattern on the corneas and how long does it take for the tears to evaporate.

  • An osmolarity test helps check the quality of components and tears in your eyes.

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Dry Eye Syndrome: Treatment 

According to Healthline, there are various options for treating dry eye syndrome.

  • Over-the-counter, drops are helpful for the patients suffering from occasional and mild dry eye syndrome.

  • Antibiotics to reduce eyelid inflammation which hinder the process of oil secretion thus causing the condition.

  • Eye drops or corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation of the cornea.

  • Eye inserts (appear like rice grain) that are put between the lower lid and eyeball and slowly dissolve lubricating the eyes like the eye drops.

  • Drugs available in the form of pills, gels, eye drops which help stimulate tear production.

  • Surgeries involving complete or partial closure of tear ducts which drain the tears off the eyes too quickly.

  • Scleral or bandage lenses prescribed by the doctors which helps to lock in moisture in the eyes of patients suffering from severe dry eye syndrome.

  • Unblocking the oil glands with the help of warm compressions and light therapy to massage the eyes and reduce the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

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Topics:  Eyes   Eye Infection   Dry eye syndrome 

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