How do I know my eyes are Dry?
The usual symptoms include:
- Stinging or burning eyes
- Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
- Eye irritation from smoke or wind
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Excess tearing –
When the eye is irritated, the lacrimal gland produces a large volume of tears which overwhelms the tear drainage system. These excess tears then overflow from your eye.
What causes Dry Eye?
- Aging of tear glands
- Specific diseases and disorders like Thyroid Disease, Arthritis
- Contact lens wear; especially when working on the computers using lenses
- Eye lid Infection
- As a result of medications such as antibiotics, antihistamines, diuretics, and anti-diarrheals
- Hormonal changes
How is Dry Eye diagnosed?
Only an ophthalmologist can diagnose dry eye by examining the eyes. Tests that measure tear production like the Schirmer tear test or Tear Break Up Time Test (TBUT)
How are Dry Eyes Treated?
Depending on the causes and severity of the problem, there is a stepwise treatment planned.
Adding artificial tears
These Eye drops are similar to your own tears. They lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture. Preservative-free eye drops are available if you are sensitive to the preservatives in artificial tears
Conserving the tears with Punctal Occlusion
In cases of persistent Dry Eye symptoms, permanent, reversible closure of the tear duct or punctal occlusion may be the best solution. Punctal occlusion allows
you to retain your own natural tears and also makes artificial tears last longer.
- A person with dry eye should avoid anything that may cause dryness, such as an overly warm room, hair dryers, wind or a direct fan / air conditioner draft.
- Smoking is especially bothersome.
- Some people with dry eye complain of “scratchy eyes” when they wake up. Using an artificial tear ointment at bedtime can treat this symptom.
What are the early warning signs?
Early signs of dry eye are:
- An occasional burning sensation in the eyes when in areas of low humidity or high pollution.
- A gritty sensation in the eyes, which is persistent and painful.
- Decreased tolerance of contact lenses.
- In extreme cases of dry eye, patients may become unusually sensitive to light, experience severe eye pain, or notice diminished vision.
If early signs persist, make an appointment with us.
Annual eye examinations are a good way of preventing such eye related issues.