Redness, heavy eyelids, blurred vision, an inability to cry, and a sandy or scratchy feeling in the eyes are all dry eye symptoms. Just about everyone has usually experienced a sense of dryness in their eyes at some point. Acute exacerbations are expected, with many lifestyle choices and environmental factors — like using your cellphone or being in a low-humidity environment — triggering symptoms,
What is Dry Eye?
A dry eye happens when your eyes generally don’t make enough tears to stay wet or when your tears don’t work correctly. This may make your eyes feel intolerable, and in some cases, it can also cause sight problems.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
The symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
- burning or stinging
- itchiness (especially in the corners of the eyes)
- irregular, blurred vision
- tired eyes (a feeling such as you need to close the eyes)
- mucus around the eyelids, particularly upon waking
- a sense of grittiness, or the sensation of something foreign in the eye (like a grain of sand or an eyelash).
Several factors can cause dry eyes. Like:
1- Evaporation of Water
Due to blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction, tear film evaporation can increase. Blepharitis/meibomian gland dysfunction causes reduced production or altered oil composition and is a general condition associated with Demodex mites, rosacea, graft versus host disease, and other requirements.
2- Decreased Tear Production
Decreased tear production is frequently associated with an autoimmune or inflammatory systemic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s, sarcoidosis, or lupus, which can cause severe damage to the tear glands. Pain sensation, such as discomfort or dryness, is part of the creation of tears, so eyes with decreased sensation will be tearless. Moreover, since normal pain sensation is necessary for corneal surface cell regeneration, the loss of that sensation is harmful to the cornea’s health.
The decreased corneal sensation can be caused by:
- Chronic dry eye
- Long-term contact lens wear
- Viral infections such as shingles
Sjögren’s is one of the most common causes of tear gland injury. This is a persistent inflammatory disease in which mucous membranes become extremely dry, especially those in the eyes and the mouth. Many patients with Sjogren’s syndrome are at risk for growing internal organ involvement such as hepatitis, interstitial lung disease, nephritis, lymphoma, or vasculitis.
When to See a Doctor?
Consult your doctor if you’ve had prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes, including irritated, red, tired, or painful eyes. Your doctor can take steps to decide what’s bothering your eyes or refer you to an eye specialist.
Treatment for dry eye generally depends on what’s causing your indications. A few different types of treatment can ease your signs and help keep your eyes healthy.
Over-the-counter eye drops. The most usual treatment for mild dry eye is called artificial tears, and you can have these eye drops without a prescription. There are also over-the-counter ointments and moisturizing gels that may help your eyes feel better.
Prescription medicines. Sometimes, if your dry eye is more serious, your eye consultant can give you a prescription for drugs called cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra). These medicines are eye drops that can help your eyes make more tears.
Lifestyle changes. If something in your life or environment is causing your dry eye or making it worse, your doctor may recommend changes to help protect your eyes.
For example, if any particular medicine you take for another health problem or reason is causing dry eye, your doctor may suggest that you try a different medication.
Your eyes may also feel comfortable if you:
- Try to avoid wind, smoke, and air conditioning.
- Use a vaporizer to maintain the air in your home from getting too dry.
- Control screen time and take breaks from staring at screens
- Wear proper wraparound sunglasses when you’re outside
- Drink plenty of water — take 8 to 10 glasses every day.
- Take enough sleep — about 7 to 8 hours a night.
Tear duct plugs. If tears are draining too fastly from your eyes, your doctor may suggest putting special plugs (called punctal plugs) in your tear ducts (tiny holes in the inner corners of your eyes). Usually, these plugs can help keep your tears in your eyes.
Surgery. In some cases, dry eyes can happen because your lower eyelids are too loose, causing tears to drain too quickly out of your sight. If this is the cause of your dry eye, your eye doctor may suggest surgery to fix your eyelids and help your tears stay on your eyes. This treatment is not very common.
If your eyes feel dry and you are suddenly unable to see as well as you used to, visit an ophthalmologist, eye doctor, or optometrist right away.
Dry eye is best treated early. Sometimes, if it goes untreated for a long time, it becomes more challenging to manage,
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
1- What is heat treatment for dry eyes?
Warm compresses provide a hydrating and soothing relief to dry eyes. The warm compress heat helps open the meibomian glands to improve oil gland function, increase oil flow into the eyes, stabilize the tear film, and slow down tear evaporation.
2- What causes dry eyes at night?
What causes dry eyes during the night?
A few of the most common causes for waking up with dry eyes are that your eyelids are not remaining closed properly during sleep (nocturnal lagophthalmos). You are not producing high-quality tears to moisturize your eyes, and you do not have sufficient tears to lubricate your eyes.
3- Enlist the types of dry eye?
Types of dry eyes include:
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
- Dysfunctional tear syndrome.
- Lacrimal keratoconjunctivitis.
- Evaporative tear deficiency or aqueous tear deficiency.
- LASIK-induced neurotrophic epitheliopathy.