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Key Information About Dry Eye Syndrome

Srikanth strongly believes that prevention is better than cure. He is of the opinion that awareness is a key to prevent diseases.

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is an eye problem that occurs when the eyes either do not produce enough tears, or when the tears evaporate too quickly.

DES is also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS). This common condition can impact your quality of life. It can make it a little harder to be productive at work and diminish your time with family and friends.

Causes

Allergies, medicines like antihistamines, exposure to dry air, age, not blinking enough, wearing contacts, and staring at a computer or a cellphone screen for long hours are some causes of dry eye syndrome.

In a 2016 survey, close to 9 out of 10 eye care health professionals felt that increased screen time has contributed to a rise in this condition, especially in younger people.

Being older than 50 can increase your chances of experiencing symptoms of this condition. Prolonged use of face masks in air-conditioned locations can cause dry eyes.

In people with dermatochalasis, the eyelids do not work as efficiently to keep the eye surface moist, leading to dry eyes.

In the year 2020, lifestyle changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic caused a dramatic increase in the incidence and severity of dry eye disease.

A higher self-reported water intake and a greater measured 24-h urine volume were tied to an increased dry eye syndrome prevalence according to new findings from a large, population-based study.

"Based on these findings, advising dry eye patients to increase water intake is not justifiable,” wrote study author Jelle Vehof, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen.

The study, “The relationship between habitual water intake and dry eye disease,” was published in Acta Ophthalmologica in August 2022.

Starting at Computer Screen Continuously Can Cause Dry Eye Syndrome

key-information-about-dry-eye-syndrome

Dry eye disease occurs when your tears are unable to provide adequate lubrication, either because there’s insufficient tear production (known as an aqueous deficiency) or poor quality tears (meibomian gland dysfunction or MGD).

— Kambiz Silani, OD, chief clinical director at Beverly Hills Optometry Advanced Dry Eye Center

Symptoms

Blurred vision, burning sensation in the eyes, red eyes and photophobia are known symptoms of this condition.

Dry eye disease that is associated with Sjögren’s syndrome often is more severe than that not related to the syndrome.

Complications

If left untreated, severe dry eyes may cause inflammation, abrasion of the corneal surface, corneal ulcer and vision problems. It can even lead to blindness. What may at first seem like just a nuisance can actually turn into a serious health condition.

Treatment

Warm compresses and gentle eye massage work well in cases where eyes make enough tears but have dry eye symptoms.

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Systane Ultra Ophthalmic Solution is a prescription medicine used to treat symptoms of dry eyes. It lubricates the eyes.

For people who are not making enough tears ophthalmologists usually recommend artificial tears, ophthalmic cyclosporine or plugs to prevent tear drainage.

On October 27 2020, FDA announced the approval of Kala Pharmaceuticals’ Eysuvis (loteprednol etabonate) for short-term treatment of the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

Low-dose naltrexone decreased ocular pain and improved quality of life in patients with neuropathic corneal pain, according to Pam Theriot, OD, of Blink Eye Spa, who evaluated dry eye clinical research at SECO 2022.

Prevention

Use wraparound sunglasses when you are outdoors. Do not smoke tobacco products. You may consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your house. Avoid excessive use of digital devices.

Research has established a connection between dry eye syndrome and the diet. Certain nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, vitamins A, C and E, zeaxanthin, lutein and zinc help maintain overall eye health and alleviate dry eye symptoms.

Wraparound Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes From Drying Winds

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Practice yoga asanas (postures) like Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog). These postures are generally good for the eyes.

Adho Mukha Svanasana Is Good for the Eyes

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

It is recommended to take breaks often when working on a computer or reading. Using a humidifier indoors adds moisture to the air which can provide relief. Finally, sunglasses outdoors will protect from sun, wind and dust.

— Dr. Boudreaux of Maison Optique Vision Center in Lafayette, LA

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Srikanth R

Comments

Srikanth R (author) on September 13, 2020:

You're welcome.

blessedp on September 13, 2020:

If I knew then what I know now, then I wouldn't be a victim of dry eye syndrome. I spent too much time on the computer, not knowing I should blink ever so often and take breaks occasionally. Now I fall in that group of people with that syndrome.

Thanks for sharing.

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