Our eyes are the most sensitive and easily disturbed part of your body. Even with slight irritation, they may start watering. Therefore, we have to take extra care in order to maintain eye health and prevent inflammation, especially with aging. It is therefore important to understand the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, and how it should be treated.
Tears & Why They’re Important
The eyes produce tears to remove irritants and to keep our eyes lubricated. Tears are made up of:
The above-quoted ingredients come from special glands around your eyes. An excess tear-flow from your eyes can occur due to poor tear drainage or overproduction of tears. Watery eyes are often not harmful but can be the cause of irritation. Alternatively, dry eye condition means that glands around the eyes aren’t working properly, and cannot adequately moisturise the eye.
What Happens If Tears Don’t Work Properly?
The production of tears is a natural cleaning mechanism, flushing away foreign objects that may come into contact with the eye easily. With the dry eye syndrome, the eye can not remove irritants effectively, and one of the two things can happen; insufficient or excessive production of tears. Inadequate production of tears may cause:
- Continuous discharge of mucus
- Blurred vision
- Light sensitivity
If your eyes drops out water continuously, the result is often Reflex Tearing. This is because your eyes will send a distress signal to your nervous system to have the eyes lubricated to overcome the irritation and dryness. And as a result, excessive tear production will start.
Causes Of Dry Eye Syndrome?
There are many reasons described by science for this syndrome. However, the main ones are:
- An unbalanced tear flow system
- Dried tear film
- Drug-induced side effects
- Natural aging process
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Collagen vascular diseases
- Uneven eyelids
- Long-term use of contact lenses
How Is The Syndrome Diagnosed?
You need to go through a comprehensive eye examination to determine the exact quality and quantity of your tears that are produced. Furthermore, your doctor will go through some more procedures to determine the exact cause of the syndrome, and those tests will include:
- General medical history to note the symptoms and health problems
- Environmental causes and age factor that may add more to dry eye condition
- External assessment of the eye like the eyelid structure and blink dynamics
- Eyelid and cornea evaluation with bright light and magnifying glasses
- Tear abnormality along with quality and quantity difference
- Insertion of special dyes will be performed to observe the tear flow along with changes in the outer surface
Once your optometrist/doctor performs all of the above tests, then he/she will be suggesting the best treatment based on the current situation to smoothen out your dry eye condition.
Various Types Of Treatments For Dry Eyes
There are a lot of treatments available for treating dry eye syndrome. However, here are a few that your healthcare provider will prescribe depending on the severity of your condition. These are:
- Artificial ointments and teardrops
- Conserving tears
- Non-dissolving punctal plugs
- Punctal occlusion by cautery
- Temporary Punctal occlusion
- Testosterone cream
- Fish oil
These solutions are not to be administered without an expert optometrist’s prescription and advice. Visit us today to book your eye test consultation with our expert doctors and optometrist.