Dry eyes is considered one of the common-occurring problems. It can be due to low or no production of tears in the eyes. There are many reasons of low production which includes increased screen time, air conditioned room, riding a bike or any problem related to tear producing glands.
The symptoms are usually bilateral and are as follows:
- Photophobia (light sensitivity)
- Red eyes
- Feeling of a foreign body in the eye
- Trouble wearing glasses
- Trouble while driving in the night
- Constant irritation in the eyes which makes the eyes watery.
- Lazy eyes and blurring of vision
- Itchy and burning eyes are common
- Mucus accumulates around the eyes.
Tears help in the protection of eyes. Dry eyes may be due to increased evaporation of tears or its decreased production
Decreased tear production
Decreased production of tears also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Can be due to:
- Conditions like Thyroid disturbances, diabetes, SLE, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disorders, etc
- Drugs eg; decongestants, HRT, Antihistamines, antidepressants etc
- Disruption of lacrimal glands due to radiation or inflammation.
Increased tear evaporation
May be due to:
- Ectropion or entropion
- Blinking eyes very less
- Dry, windy or smoky atmosphere
Some complications may occur like:
- Eye surface becomes irregular and damaged
- Interruption in daily activities
Diagnosis requires the following:
- A detailed examination of eye
- Schirmer test (tear measurement)
- Composition of tears
For treatment of dry eyes, we first have to treat the underlying cause; any disease or syndrome. For milder cases eye drops can also be used. Some medications used are:
- Hydroxypropyl cellulose.
- Oral Antibiotics
- Cevimeline, pilocarpine (cholinergics)
Lifestyle and home remedies
- Use eye drops which are nonpreservative.
- Use ointments at the bedtime and eye drops in the day time.
- Avoid using the drops which are used for reduction of redness in the eyes.
- Wash eyelids with soap (preferably mild/ baby shampoo)
- Put washed and lightly hot cloth on eyes