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Dry Eye Syndrome

Dr.
Dr. Sandeep Darunde
BAMS Optician Ophthalmologist 3 Years Experience, Pune
Consult

Dry eyes

Overview

Dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when your tears aren't able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be inadequate for many reasons. For example, dry eyes may occur if you don't produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears.

Dry eyes feel uncomfortable. If you have dry eyes, your eyes may sting or burn. You may experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, while riding a bike or after looking at a computer screen for a few hours.

Treatments for dry eyes may make you more comfortable. These treatments can include lifestyle changes and eyedrops. You'll likely need to take these measures indefinitely to control the symptoms of dry eyes.

Symptoms
Signs and symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include:

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
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you've had prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes, including red, irritated, tired or painful eyes. Your doctor can take steps to determine what's bothering your eyes or refer you to a specialist.

Causes
Dry eyes are caused by a lack of adequate tears. Your tears are a complex mixture of water, fatty oils and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes smooth and clear, and it helps protect your eyes from infection.

For some people, the cause of dry eyes is decreased tear production. For others it's increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears.

Decreased tear production
Dry eyes can occur when you're unable to produce enough tears. The medical term for this condition is keratoconjunctivitis sicca (ker-uh-toe-kun-junk-tih-VY-tis SIK-uh). Common causes of decreased tear production include:

Aging
Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, thyroid disorders and vitamin A deficiency
Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, and drugs for high blood pressure, acne, birth control and Parkinson's disease
Laser eye surgery, though symptoms of dry eyes related to this procedure are usually temporary
Tear gland damage from inflammation or radiation
Increased tear evaporation
Common causes of increased tear evaporation include:

Wind, smoke or dry air
Blinking less often, which tends to occur when you're concentrating, for example, while reading, driving or working at a computer
Eyelid problems, such as out-turning of the lids (ectropion) and in-turning of the lids (entropion)
Imbalance in tear composition
The tear film has three basic layers: oil, water and mucus. Problems with any of these layers can cause dry eyes. For example, the oil film produced by small glands on the edge of your eyelids (meibomian glands) might become clogged. Blocked meibomian glands are more common in people with inflammation along the edge of their eyelids (blepharitis), rosacea or other skin disorders.

Risk factors
Factors that make it more likely that you'll experience dry eyes include:

Being older than 50. Tear production tends to diminish as you get older. Dry eyes are more common in people over 50.
Being a woman. A lack of tears is more common in women, especially if they experience hormonal changes due to pregnancy, using birth control pills or menopause.
Eating a diet that is low in vitamin A, which is found in liver, carrots and broccoli, or low in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, walnuts and vegetable oils
Wearing contact lenses
Complications
People who have dry eyes may experience these complications:

Eye infections. Your tears protect the surface of your eyes from infection. Without adequate tears, you may have an increased risk of eye infection.
Damage to the surface of your eyes. If left untreated, severe dry eyes may lead to eye inflammation, abrasion of the corneal surface, corneal ulcer and vision problems.
Decreased quality of life. Dry eyes can make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as reading.
Prevention
If you experience dry eyes, pay attention to the situations that are most likely to cause your symptoms. Then find ways to avoid those situations in order to prevent your dry eyes symptoms. For instance:

Avoid air blowing in your eyes. Don't direct hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners or fans toward your eyes.
Add moisture to the air. In winter, a humidifier can add moisture to dry indoor air.
Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses or other protective eyewear. Safety shields can be added to the tops and sides of eyeglasses to block wind and dry air. Ask about shields where you buy your eyeglasses.
Take eye breaks during long tasks. If you're reading or doing another task that requires visual concentration, take periodic eye breaks. Close your eyes for a few minutes. Or blink repeatedly for a few seconds to help spread your tears evenly over your eyes.
Be aware of your environment. The air at high altitudes, in desert areas and in airplanes can be extremely dry. When spending time in such an environment, it may be helpful to frequently close your eyes for a few minutes at a time to minimize evaporation of your tears.
Position your computer screen below eye level. If your computer screen is above eye level, you'll open your eyes wider to view the screen. Position your computer screen below eye level so that you won't open your eyes as wide. This may help slow the evaporation of your tears between eye blinks.
Stop smoking and avoid smoke. If you smoke, ask your doctor for help devising a quit-smoking strategy that's most likely to work for you. If you don't smoke, stay away from people who do. Smoke can worsen dry eyes symptoms.
Use artificial tears regularly. If you have chronic dry eyes, use eyedrops even when your eyes feel fine to keep them well-lubricated.

Published  

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
Consult

Dry eyes

Overview

Dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when your tears aren't able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be inadequate for many reasons. For example, dry eyes may occur if you don't produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears.

Dry eyes feel uncomfortable. If you have dry eyes, your eyes may sting or burn. You may experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, while riding a bike or after looking at a computer screen for a few hours.

Treatments for dry eyes may make you more comfortable. These treatments can include lifestyle changes and eyedrops. You'll likely need to take these measures indefinitely to control the symptoms of dry eyes.

Symptoms
Signs and symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include:

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
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you've had prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes, including red, irritated, tired or painful eyes. Your doctor can take steps to determine what's bothering your eyes or refer you to a specialist.

Causes
Dry eyes are caused by a lack of adequate tears. Your tears are a complex mixture of water, fatty oils and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes smooth and clear, and it helps protect your eyes from infection.

For some people, the cause of dry eyes is decreased tear production. For others it's increased tear evaporation and an imbalance in the makeup of your tears.

Decreased tear production
Dry eyes can occur when you're unable to produce enough tears. The medical term for this condition is keratoconjunctivitis sicca (ker-uh-toe-kun-junk-tih-VY-tis SIK-uh). Common causes of decreased tear production include:

Aging
Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren's syndrome, thyroid disorders and vitamin A deficiency
Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, and drugs for high blood pressure, acne, birth control and Parkinson's disease
Laser eye surgery, though symptoms of dry eyes related to this procedure are usually temporary
Tear gland damage from inflammation or radiation
Increased tear evaporation
Common causes of increased tear evaporation include:

Wind, smoke or dry air
Blinking less often, which tends to occur when you're concentrating, for example, while reading, driving or working at a computer
Eyelid problems, such as out-turning of the lids (ectropion) and in-turning of the lids (entropion)
Imbalance in tear composition
The tear film has three basic layers: oil, water and mucus. Problems with any of these layers can cause dry eyes. For example, the oil film produced by small glands on the edge of your eyelids (meibomian glands) might become clogged. Blocked meibomian glands are more common in people with inflammation along the edge of their eyelids (blepharitis), rosacea or other skin disorders.

Risk factors
Factors that make it more likely that you'll experience dry eyes include:

Being older than 50. Tear production tends to diminish as you get older. Dry eyes are more common in people over 50.
Being a woman. A lack of tears is more common in women, especially if they experience hormonal changes due to pregnancy, using birth control pills or menopause.
Eating a diet that is low in vitamin A, which is found in liver, carrots and broccoli, or low in omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, walnuts and vegetable oils
Wearing contact lenses
Complications
People who have dry eyes may experience these complications:

Eye infections. Your tears protect the surface of your eyes from infection. Without adequate tears, you may have an increased risk of eye infection.
Damage to the surface of your eyes. If left untreated, severe dry eyes may lead to eye inflammation, abrasion of the corneal surface, corneal ulcer and vision problems.
Decreased quality of life. Dry eyes can make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as reading.
Prevention
If you experience dry eyes, pay attention to the situations that are most likely to cause your symptoms. Then find ways to avoid those situations in order to prevent your dry eyes symptoms. For instance:

Avoid air blowing in your eyes. Don't direct hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners or fans toward your eyes.
Add moisture to the air. In winter, a humidifier can add moisture to dry indoor air.
Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses or other protective eyewear. Safety shields can be added to the tops and sides of eyeglasses to block wind and dry air. Ask about shields where you buy your eyeglasses.
Take eye breaks during long tasks. If you're reading or doing another task that requires visual concentration, take periodic eye breaks. Close your eyes for a few minutes. Or blink repeatedly for a few seconds to help spread your tears evenly over your eyes.
Be aware of your environment. The air at high altitudes, in desert areas and in airplanes can be extremely dry. When spending time in such an environment, it may be helpful to frequently close your eyes for a few minutes at a time to minimize evaporation of your tears.
Position your computer screen below eye level. If your computer screen is above eye level, you'll open your eyes wider to view the screen. Position your computer screen below eye level so that you won't open your eyes as wide. This may help slow the evaporation of your tears between eye blinks.
Stop smoking and avoid smoke. If you smoke, ask your doctor for help devising a quit-smoking strategy that's most likely to work for you. If you don't smoke, stay away from people who do. Smoke can worsen dry eyes symptoms.
Use artificial tears regularly. If you have chronic dry eyes, use eyedrops even when your eyes feel fine to keep them well-lubricated.



Published  

Six Ways You Can Keep Your Eyes Healthy!

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
Consult

Eyes are very important organs of your body as they provide you with the ability to process visual detail and detect light. However, because your eyes are exposed to harsh climate and pollutants, they can get spoilt. Here are a few basic tips you can follow to take care of your eyes:

1. Eye yoga: Eye Yoga is an ancient method of relaxing your eyes and is also known as “palming”. All you need to do is cup your palms and place them over closed eyes in a way wherein your fingertips are touching your forehead. This helps in blocking out light completely. While cupping your eyes, take long, deep breaths which can help relax your eyes and mind.

2. Eat healthy: It is important to eat healthy in order to maintain healthy eyes. Medical practitioners believe that vitamins have antioxidants which slow down age related problems in the eye. You should be eating foods rich in Vitamin A, C and E, Zinc rich foods and foods with folic acid. Food items such as carrots, lettuce, spinach and kale can help in keeping your eyes healthy for a longer period of time.

3. Wear dark sunglasses: Every time your eyes are exposed to the sun, they have to tolerate the harmful UV-A and UV-B rays. The ultraviolet rays can prove to be very damaging for your eyes as they affect the optic nerve. Hence, you should always wear dark coloured sunglasses in the sun to protect your eyes.

4. Take breaks: Staring at a computer screen or a mobile screen all day can prove to be very harmful to your eyes. According to a study, when you stare at a screen for too long, you blink lesser. This can lead to dry eyes.

5. Get required rest: It is important to rest your eyes and free them of the strain they endure daily. Hence, you should aim to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep time daily to give them the required rest time.

6. Quit smoking: Smoking cigarettes can be harmful for your eyes as it increases the chances of macular degeneration and cataracts. Smoking also increases the chances of optic nerve damage as it impairs blood circulation to the eyes.

The above discussed methods can help you have a great vision for a longer period of time. Hence, try implementing these easy steps in your daily life today and enjoy the lasting benefits.

Published  

Eye Sight - How Smoking Can Put You At Risk?

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
Consult

If you thought smoking was causing damage to only your lungs, thing again. Your eyesight, one of your most valuable possessions, is at high risk of damage because of your bad habit.
The damage done to your eyes by cigarettes happens from two sources; the toxic smoke that hangs in the air which surrounds you as you puff on the cigarettes and 4000 odd toxic substances that enter your bloodstream once you smoke. In extreme cases, smoking also causes loss in vision. Here is a list of eye disorders and diseases, which can be caused due to smoking-

Macular degeneration

The risk of developing Age-related Macular Degeneration is there for people above the age of fifty. In case of smokers, the chance of developing AMD is three times more than in nonsmokers. It has been proven that smokers develop the chance of AMD ten years prior to non smokers.

Cataract

This process involves the clouding of the lens inside the eye. Cataract develops with old age, usually. The risk of developing early cataract is common among smokers, who are twice at risk of cataract than non smokers. The effect of the cataract in the case of smokers is more severe.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is the eye disorder where the death of nerve fiber layer behind our eyes takes place, and that results in loss of vision. The increase in pressure within the eyes leads to glaucoma. Smoking enhances the pressure in your eyes, and so smokers are at a potential risk of acquiring this disease.

Diabetic eye diseases

A number of eye diseases are accompanied with diabetes. This can result in blindness when left ignored or not paid attention to in severe cases. Diabetic patients who are smokers are three times more at a risk of eye diseases associated with diabetes.

Optic neuropathy

This eye disease causes sudden loss of vision to the eyes without any pain. It happens due to the disrupted flow of blood in the arteries of the eyes. Smokers are 16 times more at a risk of developing optic neuropathy at an earlier age.

Thyroid associated eye diseases

Patients having thyroid issues or Grave's disease have disorders in their vision. Grave's disease patients who smoke tobacco are likely to develop severe eye diseases associated with the thyroid.

Dry eye

Smoking causes irritation to the eyes and affects the tear film of the eye. Smokers and passive smokers are likely to develop dry eye disorders. Smoking causes a lot of eye diseases and disorders, and smokers are at a higher risk of acquiring eye diseases than non smokers.

Published  

Here's How You Can Get Rid Of Dry Eyes

Dr. HelloDox Care #
HelloDox Care
Consult

Dry eyes can cause a lot of discomfort. They not only make the vision blurry, but also cause burning sensation, redness in the eyes and constant sticking of the eyelids. However, there are several ways in which you can cure this dryness; having a healthy diet is one of them. According to Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Datta, "Having Vitamin A and Vitamin C rich foods could be really healthy for your eyes. Especially, Vitamin A as it provides with beta carotene. Add yellow, green and red vegetables along with essential minerals to your diet as these foods will provide you with sufficient beta carotene and healthy vitamins." Dry eyes could also be due to lack of fatty acids in your diet. Having a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can enhance water production in your eyes which can in turn help in better lubrication. Here's how you can get rid of those dry eyes in a natural way. Read on to know more about them.Coconut Oil: Coconut oil is a versatile ingredient as it has multiple benefits and uses. It has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing agents which aid in keeping the dry eyes nourished. Take 2-3 drops of coconut oil and rub it near your eyes for about 2-3 minutes. Wait until the skin absorbs the oil fully. After few minutes, repeat the procedure again and watch out for results!

Cucumber: To avoid itchiness and redness, take a cucumber slice it place it on your eyes for about 15 minutes. Cucumber is an excellent source of vitamin A which is a great nourisher for dry eyes.

Yogurt: Yogurt is a rich source of vitamin D, B and A. Having a bowl of yogurt everyday can cure the itchiness and provide you with proper eye nourishment.

Blinking Exercise: Tears are essential for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eyes. Regular blinking of eyes can stimulate the flow of tears which can help in keeping the moisture intact

Warm Cloth Compress: One of the most natural ways to cure dry eyes is with the help of a warm cloth. Take a really soft cloth and dip it in a bowl of hot water. Take the cloth out of the bowl and squeeze out the remaining water. Once it is done, press the warm cloth against your eyes for about 7-8 minutes. The hot water will increase the blood circulation around the eyes which will stimulate the lubrication.

So if you happen to be one of those who is suffering from dry eye syndrome, then you can try these remedies at home to get some relief.

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Dr. Vijay Hatankar
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