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Dry Eyes - What Are The Symptoms?

Written and reviewed by
DNB Ophthalmology, MD - Ophthalmology, MBBS
Ophthalmologist, Mumbai  •  17years experience
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I'm doctor Jatin Ashar practicing ophthalmologist. My areas of specialization include cataract, cornea transplant, Laser refractive surgery and dry eyes. Today I'll be speaking to you about dry eyes, we often see young people who come to us saying that their eyes are gritty, itching and they always feel tired at the end of the day after the long hours of work on the computer so what is it that leads to this problem or dryness in their eyes? quite often we have seen that patients especially young people who are sitting on long hours on the computer often complain of their eyes being tired after three to four hours of computer usage, this condition is called dry eyes. In case of dry eyes what we see is the patient would complain of irritation in their eyes, itchiness, dryness or grittiness, tired feeling and often even decrease in their vision.

These patients may often complain also of nighttime blurriness of vision also difficulty in reading, halos around light and a lot of times they may find it difficult to read or drive, especially at the end of the day. Dryness of the eyes is not just related to the computer use there are multiple other reasons of dryness of the eyes, there are certain glands that are there on our lid margin these are called meibomian glands, they have a secretion which is similar to a lipid or oily secretion in the eye, this leads to the protection of the layer which is your tear film and this prevents evaporation of the tear film, it is seen there are a lot of people that have got blockage of these glands called meibomian glands dysfunction. This blockage leads to evaporation of the tears from the eyes and leads to dryness of their eyes.

Other reasons of dry eyes include poor tear production this condition is called sjogren's syndrome and it is quite often associated with other eye diseases or systemic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or other collagen vascular disorders wherein people may experience even dryness in their eyes along with dry mouth and this leads to poor swallowing action in these patients and also poor clearing in their eyes. The treatment for dry eyes is in the form of drops and oral medications. For computer users a simple rule which is called 20/20 rule is that what is prescribed to them, that is after every 20 minutes of constant computer usage a 20 second break is what is warranted wherein people should not be using the computer or their mobiles or any near activity should not be done, in these 20 seconds they can gaze at something that is distant or close your eyes for any second, this would lead to the prevention of the dryness in their eyes, also frequent blinking of the eyes has to be voluntarily done this leads to spreading of the tear film along the ocular surface and prevents dryness of the eyes. When patients cannot have any relief using this it is often prescribed that they start using lubricating drops.

These drops will smoothen their ocular surface and their eyes and decrease the dryness. Often when the patient also have a decrease in their vision along with dryness and redness of the eye inflammatory markers are tested in the eyes using special tests. Once they are seen to be positive on these markers, anti-inflammatory drops such as topical steroids or oral anti-inflammatory agents are started for these patients, often these lead to relief of the dryness symptoms. It is important to note that the patient may be required to be on a long term follow-up and long term medications for dryness may be required for most of these cases. If you are suffering from dry eyes and want to consult me privately, please click on the consult button.

Thank you.

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