In a region mired in conflict, it takes all the more courage, and perseverance to be the voice of the voiceless, and to separate facts from propaganda. Help The Kashmir Monitor sustain so that we continue to be editorially independent. Remember, your contributions, however small they may be, matter to us.

Dry Eye Syndrome: All You Need To Know About Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which eyes don’t produce enough tears. The condition makes you unable to maintain normal layer of tears to coat your eyes. As a result of this, your eyes are unable to eliminate dust particles and other irritants from eyes. Common symptoms of the dry eye syndrome include burning, stinging, pain and redness in the eyes. Any sudden increase in discomfort in the eyes or sudden decrease in the ability to see should be dealt with by seeking medical assistance. Some common causes of dry eyes are working on the computer extensively or spending a long time in a dry environment can trigger dry eye syndrome. People with dry eye syndrome are more prone to risks of bacterial infections or inflammation in the surface of eyes or scarring of cornea. While these symptoms can be quite irritable, a dry eye syndrome doesn’t cause loss of vision. Watery tearing and stingy mucus in the eyes are common symptoms of dry eye syndrome along with burning, pain and redness in the eyes.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome

People with dry eye syndrome will experience that their eyes get tired faster than usual. They experience difficulty in reading or sitting in front of the computer for long periods of time. These people experience the feeling of having sand in eyes and blurry vision.

Causes of dry eye syndrome

Eyes are unable to steady supply of moisture when they quickly evaporate because of lack of oil in tears. The tears are made of 3 layers: the outer layer which is oily, the middle layer which is watery, and the inner layer which has mucus. In case the glands that produce various elements of your tears get inflamed or are unable to produce enough oil, water or mucus, it leads to dry eye syndrome.

Other common causes of dry eye syndrome include hormone replacement therapy, allergies, eye surgeries, constant exposure to wind or dry air, allergies, medications like birth control pills and anti-depressants, long-term of use of contact lens, ageing, using computer for long periods of time and not blinking enough.

Are you at risk of dry eye syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is more common among people above the age of 50 or older. It is more common in women than men. Pregnant women or women who are on hormone replacement therapy are at higher risks of developing dry eye syndrome. Menopausal women are also at risk of dry eye syndrome. If you have chronic allergies or conditions like thyroid which push eyes forward, you are at risk of dry eye syndrome. People with immune system disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, have exposure keratitis (a condition in which you sleep with eyes partially open) or have Vitamin A deficiency are more prone to risks of dry eye syndrome.

Treatment of dry eye syndrome

  1. Artificial tears

Dry eye syndrome can be treated with the help of eye drops which increase eye moisture. This is one of the most common treatments for dry eye syndrome.

  1. Medication

Medication which are commonly prescribed as part of dry eye syndrome are anti-inflammatory medications. These medicines increase amount of tears in your eyes and reduces risk of cornea damage. Severe cases of dry eyes are treated with the help of eye drops. There are other medications which ca stimulate production of tears.

  1. Surgeries

Surgeries are recommended in case other treatments fail to work. Surgeries involve permanent plugging of drainage holes at inner corners of eyes. This will help your eyes maintain adequate amount of tears.

  1. Lacrimal plugs

This treatment involves use of plugs to block drainage holes in the corner of eyes. This treatment slows loss of tears and is quite pain free. Plugs may be recommended as the permanent solution in case your dry eye syndrome is too severe.

  1. Nutrition

Consumption of a well-balanced diet with sufficient amounts of proteins and vitamins can help in maintain eye health. Oil content of eyes can be enhanced with the help of omega-3 fatty acids.

  1. Humidifiers

You can use humidifiers in your bedrooms and living rooms in order to avoid dry climates. Limit use of contact lenses and the time you spend in from of the computer, mobile phones, tablets and televisions.