Dry Eye… What to do?
As regards Dry Eyes…the treatment plan should involve a step- wise check of what is the cause or trigger factor for the dryness. This is done by our Cornea specialists who evaluate and follow up your condition regularly.
The most important treatment is not of the symptoms such as watering, itchy eyes, burning, gritty eyes etc. but is in treating the cause itself.
Hypothyroidism, hormonal changes in older women, Sjogren’s Syndrome, Arthritis, chronic allergic eye conditions all may lead to dry eye.
If you have any history of dry eyes, it is important that you tell the eye doctor general details as well, such as lifestyle, work on the computers, outdoor activities so that they can carefully evaluate you for dry eyes prior to any treatment.
We also need to know if you experience any dry eye symptoms with contact lenses (if using any).
The diagnosis of Dry Eyes like doing a Schirmers’ Test which is Quantitative and the Tear Break up time also is important. These tests have a score and when you are put on any treatment plan, one needs to evaluate if the score is improving.
Artificial tears are probably the most common forms of treatment for Dry Eye Syndrome. 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 without the bother or expense of constantly replacing the tear film with artificial tears. This is a short, painless procedure that prevents your natural tears from draining away quickly and results in improved lubrication of the surface of the eye, and hence reduces your symptoms. Tears drain out of the eye through a small channel into the nose. We may close these channels either temporarily or permanently. The closure conserves your own tears and makes artificial tears last longer.
Other simple preventive points to remember
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.
Computers and Dry Eye needs a special mention.
Please see the link below to know how computers may affect the eyes and how to prevent the same.
Many computer users need a pair of glasses for their computer work that is different from the glasses they use for their other common visual needs. Some computer users may have a vision disorder such as a minor astigmatism that would not otherwise require correction if they weren’t performing a demanding visual job such as at the computer. In these cases, the person needs a pair of glasses only for working at a computer. These are called “computer glasses”.
The bifocals or progressive addition lenses that are usually prescribed for presbyopia [difficulty in near sight after 40 years of age] don’t work well for computer work. The best solution for the presbyopic computer user is a lens that is specifically designed for the ergonomics of the computer workstation. These special computer lenses are designed to accommodate the unique viewing distances and angles at a computer.