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Dry Eye Syndrome - How To Handle It?

Reviewed by
Dr. Santosh Singh Patel 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology, Fellowship in (FAICO)
Ophthalmologist, Raipur  •  19 years experience

Do your eyes get tired easily? Do they look sore or sandy? If yes, then it’s time to worry about your eyes now. There is every possibility that you might have developed a dry eye. It is a common disorder of the eyes that occurs due to aging. It causes discomfort as you end up feeling scratchy or gritty all the time. The eyes turn red and have a burning sensation and feel itchy. Things get worse when you tend to stress your eyes by spending extra hours in front of the computer or read texts. In fact, the discomfort increases as the blinking frequency of the eyes get reduced.

One may also develop blurred vision due to dry eyes. An individual feels as if there is some particle inside his or her eyes, but finds nothing. Though this condition doesn’t lead to very dangerous consequences, it is always a wise decision to seek medical help. The medical term for this condition is keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Once you develop dry eye, there is always a tendency to get it back again. But, the good news is that it can be treated to get some relief.

Causes

Dry eye is caused due to problems related to tear formation. When we blink our eyes, a film is formed over it. This thin layer is called a tear film. Tear film is responsible for clarity in vision. In case, enough tear is not produced, one tends to suffer from dry eyes. It is mainly caused due to ageing. 
If you don't produce enough tears, if your tears aren't of the right quality or your tears aren't spread across the front of your eye properly then you may develop dry eye. The glands producing tear or the tear film get inactive with age. Sometimes, the tear film is also affected by certain medicines, contact lenses, diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren's syndrome.

Treatment

Dry eyes caused due to ageing cannot be cured completely. You must see a doctor for treatment but there are no permanent cure remedies. However, there are ways to help you get some relief. Here are the ways:

  1. Try to increase the natural tears: There are certain home-based remedies to get some relief from the problem. You can keep the temperature of your room lower to get rid of the symptoms of dry eyes. Higher temperature leads to the evaporation of the tears. You can keep a humidifier in your room that adds more moisture to the air inside the room. This prevents drying up of the eye due to evaporation of tears. It is also found that when one blinks less, tear formation is reduced. The blinking is reduced while working on computers and reading. One must be careful while doing such things and try and blink as many times as possible.
  2. Use eye drops: One needs to use eye drops called ‘artificial tears.’ They are an alternative to natural tears. If usual drops are not effective, gel-based thicker drops or overnight ointments are prescribed.
  3. Block tear ducts: Another way of tackling dry eyes is by reducing the drainage of tears. For this, the tear ducts are blocked by plastic pieces called punctual plugs. The process is termed as punctal occlusion.
  4. Take food supplements: Certain oils and Omega 3 and 6 are known to be beneficial in treating dry eyes. Include these supplements in your diet to keep your eyes healthy.
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