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Fundamentals of Dry Eyes

Updated: Aug 24

The digital world is helping us cope with COVID . However at the expense of overuse of our eyes . Dry eyes have been one of the commonly encountered ocular surface disorders and the numbers have only increased nowadays .


Causes of dry eyes :


1.Disturbed tear film - our tears have three components - mucus , water and lipid . A condition like Chronic Meibomnitis ( infection of lipid glands in eyelids ) causes imbalance in the proportions and distribution of these components and causes dry eyes

2.Decrease secretion - tear secretion from the tear glands become lesser as one ages and also in conditions like diabetes .


3.Excessive evaporation of tears - this is most common nowadays even in children, due to excessive screen time . This gets worsened in air conditioned rooms and windy outdoors .


4.Secondary to body disorders - people suffering from diabetes and low thyroid levels tend to develop dry eyes . Those with autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis also , frequently encounter severe dry eyes . People on some medications for allergies or asthma can develop dry eyes


5.Secondary to eye disorders - people who use contact lenses , or who have undergone Lasik or cataract surgeries can temporarily develop dry eyes



Symptoms

Dry eyes can cause your eyes to turn red , itchy , and also cause blurring and headache


Remedies for dry eyes

The best way to attain relief is by treating the cause . The other supportive methods are

Increase water intake

Wear good quality glasses to reduce the evaporation from the surface of eyes

Reduce screen time

Improve duration and quality of sleep

And use of artificial tears


It is very important to visit an eye specialist and ascertain the cause and not resort to self medication . If simple methods fail , certain operative procedures may be needed to manage dry eyes.

Author: Dr. Jayashree K Bhat (MBBS, DNB - Ophthalmology, Founder & Senior Ophthalmologist)

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