Ojas Eye Hospital in Bandra, Kandivali, Mumbai

Managing Dry Eyes

February 3, 2022

Introduction

Dry eyes disease is a common condition in which natural tears cannot provide adequate lubrication to the eyes. As a result, the volume of tears can decrease or become unstable for many reasons. For example, if the eyes produce poor-quality tears, that can lead to dry eyes. This tear film instability results in inflammation and damage to the surface of the eyes.

The person with dry eyes feels uncomfortable. They might have a burning or stinging sensation due to dryness of the eyes. People may also feel the dryness of eyes in certain situations such during bike riding, using a computer or any screen for a long time.The eye dryness can be treated by changing lifestyle and using eye drops.

Dry Eyes And Symptoms

Patients with dry eyes may experience many symptoms, some of which are as follows-

  • A stinging or burning sensation in the eyes and a feeling of dryness, grittiness, and soreness in the eyes
  • A feeling like foreign material is present in the eyes.
  • Some mucus near the corner of the eyes.
  • The eye becomes sensitive to wind and light
  • Ocassional watering
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Difficult for the person to focus on specific things.
  • Pain in the eye soon after reading.
  • Difficult to see at the end of the day.
  • Sensitivity to light is increased
  • Feeling uncomfortable while wearing contact lenses.
  • Tearing of the eye
  • Occasional double or blurry vision
  • Sticking of eyelids after waking up

Causes Of Dry Eyes

  • Computer use: While using the screen or working on the computer, there is less blinking of eyes, leading to dryness of the eye.
  • Contact lenses: Wearing contact lenses tends to lead to dryness of the eye.
  • Ageing: As the person ages up, the eyes natural tear secretion decreases, resulting in eye dryness. Dryness of eyes is more common in the elderly than the young people.
  • Menopause: Post-menopausal women are at higher risk of eye dryness than males due to hormonal changes.
  • Indoor environment: The use of A.C, ceiling fans, and air heaters causes a decrease in moisture in the indoor environment, which causes dryness of the eyes.
  • Outdoor environment: Dry climate or high altitude area and hot air can also cause dryness of eyes.
  • Air travel: People who fly frequently tends to have dry eyes due to the dry ambient environment of aero planes.
  • Smoking: Major cause of eye dryness and also causes other eye disorders such as optic nerve weakness and cataract.
  • Medications: Anti-histamines, birth control pills, and antidepressants cause eye dryness.
  • Eyelid problems: Incomplete closure of eyelids during sleeping or less blinking of eyes causes eye dryness. Ocular diseases may also result in long term dryness of the eyes.
  • Laser surgery: It may be a cause of eye dryness.
  • Diet: Diet containing less vitamin A leads to various eye disorders such as eye dryness.

Lipiflo Treatment For Dry Eyes

LipiFlow is a new, non-invasive treatment designed to get rid of dry eye symptoms. LipiFlow works by applying heat into both the inner and outer eyelids and then massaging the eyelid from the outside.

The treatment is done by an external device placed under the eyelids to apply heat outwardly of the eyelids. Then it massages the eyelids gently. This process is as least-invasive as possible, and it does not have any side effect on the eyes. The purpose of this gentle massage is to open the ducts of the meibomian glands, expelling any obstructions as these blockages warms up and turn into liquid form. The major disadvantage is that it lasts only for 2-3 years.

Intense Pulsed Light Treatments For Dry Eyes

Intense pulsed light treatment is also effective in the management of dry eyes. The treatment is based on the principle that inflammation is one of the critical causes of dry eyes. Therefore, if it reduces the inflammation, it will better the eye dryness too.

The treatment is effective in managing inflammation. The doctors also use this treatment strategy in managing the inflammation of the skin, such as in rosacea or telangiectasia.

The intense pulsed light treatment is effective in the management of meibomian gland dysfunction. Generally, the lipid-rich secretion of the meibomian gland, also known as meibum, possesses antimicrobial properties. In addition, it aids in maintaining a clear lid margin. However, the formation of abnormal blood vessels near the meibomian glands secretes several inflammatory mediators. It results in meibomian gland dysfunction. The intense pulsed light treatment manages the formation of these abnormal blood vessels, thereby treating the meibomian gland dysfunction. The therapy prevents inflammation, improves cellular function, and reduces infection.

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