Dry Eye Syndrome: Dry eye syndrome (DES), also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is the condition of quantity and/or quality of tears fails to keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated. Dry eyes feel uncomfortable. If you have dry eyes, your eyes may sting or burn.
Other associated symptoms include irritation, redness, discharge, blurred vision and easily fatigued eyes.
Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eyes are caused by a lack of adequate tears. Factors that can contribute to dry eye include the following-
• Medications including antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and medications for anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and high blood pressure become been linked with dry eye.
• Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, thyroid disorders Sjogren’s syndrome, and vitamin A deficiency
• Looking at a computer for a long time
• Dry eye is more common in people age 50 years or older.
• Rosacea and blepharitis can disrupt the function of the Meibomian glands.
• Smoking has been linked to serious eye problems.
• Hormonal changes during pregnancy and after menopause have been linked with dry eye.
• Windy, smoky, or dry environments increase tear evaporation.
• Laser eye surgery may cause temporary dry eye symptoms.
• Seasonal allergies can contribute to dry eye.
Dry Eye Symptoms
Dry eye causes a scratchy sensation or the feeling that something is in the eye. Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
• Itchy eyes
• Burning sensation
• Aching sensations
• Fatigued eyes
• Redness in the eye
• Heavy eyes
• Sore eyes
• Dryness sensation
• Blurred vision
Dry Eye Tests
Only a careful investigation of eyes by an ophthalmologist can reveal the presence and severity of dry eye syndrome. The only way to know for sure if you’ve got chronic dry eye syndrome. Tests, and procedures that may be used to determine the cause of your dry eyes.
A comprehensive eye exam that includes a complete history of your health and your eye health can help your physician diagnose the reason for your dry eyes.
Your eye specialist may measure your tear production using the Schirmer test. In this test, blotting strips of paper are put beneath your lower eyelids. After five minutes your physician estimates the amount of strip soaked by your tears.
Dry Eye Treatment
In many instances, routine use of artificial tears and behavioral modifications (taking regular breaks while using the computer) can significantly reduce dry eye symptoms. Your eye specialist may recommend-
- Warm compresses on the eyes
- Certain eyelid cleaners
- Massaging your eyelids
In different cases, your eye specialist might prescribe eye drops or ointments to help your body create and secrete more tears and to decrease eye irritation and inflammation. Tear-stimulating drugs known as cholinergic (cevimeline, pilocarpine) help raises tear production. These drugs are available as pills, gel or eyedrops.