Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye is a common eye disease that affects the person's ability to perform everyday activities such as computer use or reading. Dry eye occurs when tears are not able to moisten the eyes sufficiently, as the lacrimal glands secrete tears on the surface of the eye continuously forming the tear layer, which consists of three layers:

  • Oily.
  • Aqueous.
  • Mucous (viscous).

These layers play an important role in the health of the eye and clarity of vision, as it cleans the surface of the eye and keep it moisture and protect it from dust, in addition to rid the eye of bacteria and other pollutants. The eye becomes dry when the tears are not produced the right way or when the discharge of tears is rapidly evaporative and not at the normal constant rate,.

Although eye dryness often occurs in old people, it may affect people at any age.

Causes

  • Eye dryness could be either temporary or chronic for the following reasons:
  • Aging.
  • Inflammation of the eyelids.
  • Inflammation of the surface of the eye or lacrimal gland or conjunctiva.
  • Bulging eyes, as happens when having thyroid gland disease.
  • As a result of cosmetic surgeries in the eye or refractive surgeries.
  • Loss of corneal sensation due to long-term wear of contact lenses.
  • Irregular eye blinking, which may be a result of concentration on computer or watching television.
  • Side effects of certain medications, such as anti-allergy, some blood pressure drugs, birth control pills and antidepressants.

Symptoms

  • Burning.
  • Redness.
  • Blurred vision and eye strain.
  • Sensitivity of light.
  • The sensation of a foreign body.
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses.
  • Difficulty with reading, working on the computer, or doing any activity that requires constant visual focus.

Treatment

  • Drops and ointments for moisturizing.
  • Warm compresses or cleaning eyelashes.
  • Very small plugs are placed in tear ducts to keep tears on the surface of the eye, in certain cases determined by the doctor.
  • Eye protection
  • Use eye moisturizers as instructed by your doctor.
  • Use of indoor air humidifiers.
  • Rest the eye after performing activities that require use of the eye for a long time.
  • For computer users, it is best to keep the screen on a lower level than the eyes level.