What is dry eye syndrome or disease and dry eye treatment?
The absence or lack of lubrication on the surface of the eye is known as dry eye syndrome. Symptoms include subtle but continuous irritation, inflammation and sometimes as severe as scarring on the surface of the eye. Most of the time dry eye treatment is required to treat the patient who is suffering from dry eye syndrome or disease. In addition to being called the dry eye syndrome or disease it has several medical terms such as Keratitis sicca which is used to describe dryness and inflammation of cornea, Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a type of dry eye that affects both the conjunctiva and cornea while Dysfunctional tear syndrome is the emphasis on the inadequate quality of lubrication in the form of tears is as important as its quantity.
What are the symptoms that require dry eye treatment?
- Burning sensations.
- Sensations of aching.
- Fatigue in the eyes.
- Itching of eyes.
- Heaviness in eyes.
- Red eyes.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Blurring of the vision.
- Some patients have also experienced foreign body sensation like an object, or some material present inside your eye whereas is mostly psychosomatic due to the above-stated factors already present.
- The weirdest symptom known is watery eyes which are caused by the overstimulation of tear ducts to cope with the dryness of the eye surface.
What helps in the treatment of dry eye?
- Any causative factors that are tractable for treatment must be catered to since most dry eye treatment requiring patients have various contributing factors.
- Patients need and preference must be considered to guide them through the various stages of treatment and therapy.
- For mild dry eye, the following methods are appropriate:
- Modification of environment
- Topical and systemic medication that is offending must be eliminated.
- Artificial tear substitute must be adapted including gels and ointments.
- Eyelid therapy is sometimes helpful like maintenance of hygiene and warm compressions.
- For moderate dry eye treatment, the following procedures must be followed:
- Anti-inflammatory agents and corticosteroids and omega-3 fatty acid supplements must be prescribed.
- Lacrimal plugs help in disabling eye drainage.
- Moisture chambers and spectacle shields are devices that also help modulate physical conditions.
- For severe to very severe dry eye treatment, the following steps along with the above steps must be followed:
- Systemic anti-inflammatory agents.
- Abnormalities of eyelid correction.
- The patients’ corticosteroid should be monitored for adverse effects such as corneal melting, intraocular pressure, and cataract formation.
Patients requiring dry eye treatment must be educated about the following:
- Patients must be counseled about the severity of dry eye disease and the natural history of the disease.
- Therapeutic regimens should be prescribed.
- Periodic reassessment of the patient’s compliance and disease understanding, realistic expectations must be instilled into them without giving them false hope.
Research in the treatment of dry eye:
This disease is more prevalent in cities with high levels of air pollutants as compared to rural areas. The risk of dry eye syndrome increases by 13 percent at areas in higher altitudes.
Longer exposure to computer screens for a prolonged amount of time can cause dry eye disease. Risk factors include ages over 30 and computer usage for more than eight hours per day.
With the increase in severity in dry eye disease, the reading speed of the person decreases.
Thus, treatment of dry eye syndrome is necessary before it gets severe and incurable and the patient must be educated of its symptoms and causes for better evaluation. Because eyes are the most important sensory organ for humans, and it is only through the eyes we can see and experience this beautiful world. Taking care of them is our utmost duty.