Dry eyes is a condition that occurs when your tears, a combination of water, fatty oils and mucus, are not able to provide adequate lubrication to your eyes. It is a very common and uncomfortable condition that may happen because your eyes are not able to produce enough tears or are producing poor quality tears. Experiencing long hours of situations like riding a bike, sitting in front of computer screen or in an air conditioned room, may be some causes of this condition. There are many ways to cure this condition. There are drugs to reduce eye lid inflammation or eye drops to reduce cornea inflammation. These treatments may work in most cases if you consult a doctor well in time. The doctor may do a tiny insertion in your eye to produce artificial tears, if your condition is moderate to severe. Also, there are tear stimulating drugs available in the form of pills, gel or eye drops. If your dry eye condition is severe, you may have to go for treatment wherein eye drops are made from your own blood.
The secretion of oil from your oil glands into your tears may be restricted due to inflammation along the edge of your eye lids. There are antibiotics to reduce to this inflammation in the form of pills, eye drops or even ointments. The quality of your tears may also deteriorate due to inflammation in the cornea. This can be solved by using eye drops that contain immune suppressing medication, cyclosporine or corticosteroids. If your dry eye condition is moderate to severe, the doctor may use tiny eye inserts that look like a clear grain of rice made up of hydroxypropyl cellulose. These inserts dissolve in your eye and release a substance that lubricates your eyes. You will have to use one insert once a day. There are some other drugs in the form of pills, gel or eye drops that stimulate tears in your eyes like cholinergics (pilocarpine, cevimeline). If your condition does not improve with any of the above mentioned treatments, there is a more complicated option of making eye drops from your own blood. For this treatment, a sample of your blood will be taken and mixed with salt solution after removing the red blood cells. These eye drops are called autologous blood serum.
If you feel constant stinging or burning in your eyes for a long time it could be a symptom of dry eye condition.
If you are going through some other medical treatment, the constant stinging or burning may be because of the side effects of that treatment.
Corticosteroids may have a few side effects if taken for a long time. Other than that, no significant side effects are known of this treatment.
You must look after your eyes really well after the treatment. You should wash your eyes regularly. You can dip a clean cloth in warm water and keep it on your eyes for 2-3 minutes. Repeat the process a few times. Also use a mild soap over your eye lids, massage gently and keep them clean all the time.
The recovery time depends on the kind of treatment you choose and the severity of your dry eye condition.
The cost of treatment varies according to the severity of your condition and the price of drugs required in your treatment.
The results of the treatment are mostly permanent if you take good care of your eyes in the long run.
Adding omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids help in getting rid of dry eye symptoms. Using castor oil drops and acupuncture therapy may also help.