Dry eye syndrome

Dry eye syndromedry eyes Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Abbreviation: DES. Alternative Name: dry eyes, keratoconjuctivitas sicca, keratitis sicca. Dry eye occurs when the eye does not produce tears properly, or when the tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly. Basically, dry eye syndrome manifests in one of two ways: Aqueous tear deficient dry eyes or evaporative dry eyes. Aqueous tear deficient dry eye develops because the lacrimal glands located under the eyelids do not produce enough tears to keep the surface of the eye sufficiently moist. Evaporative dry eye results from an abnormality in tear composition causing the tears evaporate too quickly. It is not clear why some people are not able to produce enough natural tears. One cause of dry eye is Sjogren's syndrome, a disease involving mild to extreme dryness in both the eyes and the mouth. This disorder may be connected with menopause and arthritis. Dry eyes are also associated with medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, certain medications such as antihistamines, and as a side effect of long-term contact lens wear or refractive surgery. Risk factors may include: Increasing age.
  • Being a woman.
  • Dry environment or workplace (wind, air conditioning).
  • Sun exposure.
  • Smoking or second-hand smoke exposure.
  • Cold or allergy medicines.
  • An eye injury or other problem with your eyes or eyelids like a drooping eyelid or bulging eyes.
  • Previous eye surgery.
Symptoms: Stinging or burning eyes.
  • Scratchy, grainy, gravelly feelings in the eyes.
  • Scratchiness.
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eyes.
  • Excessive eye irritation from smoke or wind.
  • Excess tearing.
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Momentary or persistent blurring of vision that may fluctuate witheach blink.
Diagnosis:Dry eye There are several methods to test for dry eyes. The doctor will first determine the underlying cause by measuring the production, evaporation rate and quality of the tear film. Special drops that highlight problems that would be otherwise invisible are particularly helpful to diagnose the presence and extent of the dryness. Tests may include: Examination of the tear meniscus: In aqueous deficiency, themeniscus will be miniscule or absent, and lots of debris will bepresent. If the lacrimal drainage system is not in working order,a much larger than normal tear meniscus will be seen. Inblepharitis, there will be some froth on the tear meniscus due toexcess oil in the tears. If the tear meniscus is thick and sticky,and the lids stuck together upon waking, suspect a chronicinfection secondary to a lacrimal obstruction. In such patients,some crusty deposits stuck to the lashes and in the corners ofthe eye.
  • Examination of the area around the lacrimal sac: Looking fortumors in this area and palpating this area for tenderness maypoint towards a diagnosis.
  • Schirmer tear test (measuring the volume of your tears): Filter-paper strips placed under the lower eyelids tomeasure the rate of tear production under various conditions.
  • Diagnostic drop test (Determining the quality of your tears): Looks for certain patterns of surface eye dryness.
Treatment: Household Remedies: Several aspects are to be considered while treating dry eye patients. Like controlling the humidity by using a humidifier in the living and working areas, particularly the bedroom. Ideally, the humidity should remain at 40 to 50 percent.
  • Four drops of preservative free artificial tears in each eye everyday.
  • Reduction or discontinuation of systemic drugs for allergies, insomnia and nervous disorders.
  • As in mild dry eye good lid hygiene should be advised.
Medical Treatment: Artificial tears, similar to your own tears, lubricate the eyes and help replace the natural moisture layer of the tear film.
  • Available without a prescription; can be used as often as necessary.
  • If you are sensitive to the preservatives in artificial tears, preservative-free eyedrops are available.
  • In 2002, the FDA approved the prescription eye drop Restasis for the treatment of chronic dry eye. It is currently the only prescription eye drop that helps your eyes increase their own tear production with continued use.
Other treatment Options: Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eye. This is first done via a painless test where a plug that will dissolve over a few days is inserted into the tear drain of the lower eyelid to determine whether permanent plugs can provide an adequate supply of tears. If temporary plugging of the tear drains works well, then silicone plugs (punctal occlusion) may be used. The plugs will hold tears around the eyes as long as they are in place. They can be removed. Rarely, the plugs may come out spontaneously or migrate down the tear drain. Many patients find that the plugs improve comfort and reduce the need for artificial tears. Alternative Medicines: Some preliminary research has suggested that omega-3 fatty acids could help relieve dry eyes symptoms. These fatty acids, found in fish and vegetable oils, are thought to reduce inflammation in the body. In theory, increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet could reduce eye inflammation. More study is needed to prove this theory. But if you're interested in trying omega-3 fatty acids, discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are available in foods and in supplements. Omega-3 fatty acid supplements can cause a fishy aftertaste and upset stomach. Instead, try adding foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, such as canola oil, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, ground flaxseed, walnuts, salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, eggs from chickens fed with feed rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Disclaimer: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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