What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic lack of moisture and lubrication to the eyes caused by constant mild irritation to the front tissues of the eyes. The medical term for dry eye syndrome is known as keratitis sicca which means the quality or quantity of tears. Our tears are there to bathe the eyes and help by washing out debris and dust as well as keeping the eye moist. Tears are more complicated than we might think containing essential elements, including oils produced by special glands in the eyelids, these oils then help prevent our tears from evaporating. In dry eye syndrome, the eye fails to produce enough or a high enough quality of tears.
What causes dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome has many causes. It is unfortunately just a natural part of ageing especially in menopausal women. It can be caused as a side effect to many medications such as Parkinson’s disease medicines, contraceptives, anti-depressants, blood pressure medications and antihistamines It also has other causes such as living in a dusty or dry windy climate, spending periods of time in a dry heating environment such as air conditioning in the workplace. Another cause is also insufficient blinking such as staring at a computer all day. Dry eyes are also one of the most common complaints in long term contact lens wearers.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome can include; continuous dryness, red eyes and also burning sensations. You may also feel a gritty irritation which gets worse as the day goes on. Eyes may feel like they are stinging or tired, they may feel like they are being pulled and sometimes it may feel like you have some dust or dirt in the eyes that you can’t remove. Sometimes there may also be a string like discharge from the eyes. Some people who suffer with dry eye syndrome will also find they develop a sensitivity to light.
How do I know for sure I have dry eye syndrome
You can visit your optician for an eye test. The front of the eyes are then examined using a special microscope where they will measure the thickness and amount of tear film, the stability is then checked by assessing the time it takes to break up tears, the conjunctiva is then examined to see if it is too dry and the cornea is examined to see if it has become too dried out or damaged. Different dyes may used during the examination to check for various other conditions. You may also be examined for the quantity of tears produced, the salt content of your tears and occasionally blood tests to check for any autoimmune diseases.
Can I help prevent dry eye syndrome?
You can do several simple things to try and help prevent dry eye syndrome, these are things that counteract the causing factors. So you could use a humidifier, reduce the use of fans or avoid excessive air movement. If you are in a dusty workplace you could make sure that there is an air filter available. Hot compresses may help and paying attention to your eyes when you are watching TV or at a computer taking regular breaks from the screen.
I already have dry eyes, can I get rid of it easily?
Ethos Bright Eyes have been hugely popular with their eye drops over the last twelve years which not only resolve bigger issues such as cataracts, glaucoma etc. but they also help with resolving dry eye syndrome as they contain two excellent lubricants. By applying the drops frequently throughout the day, these drops will then help lubricate the eye and help with keeping the eye moist whilst also protecting the lens. They are easy to use and many people say they have experienced huge differences when using Ethos Bright Eye drops when suffering with dry eye syndrome to the point where their eyes feel fully healthy again.
Author: Professor Steven Charles Gallant