Dry Eye Syndrome
Your eyes constantly produce tears at a slow and steady rate so that they stay moist and comfortable. Some people are not able to produce enough tears or the appropriate quality of tears to keep their eyes healthy or comfortable. This condition is known as dry eye.
Stinging, burning sensation
Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
Excess tearing. This is the eye’s response to the discomfort from dry eye. When the eyes get irritated, the gland that makes tears releases a larger than usual volume of tears, which overwhelm the tear drainage system. These excess tears then overflow from your eyes.
- Aging, especially for women after menopause
- Air pollution
- Prolonged computer use
- Low humidity
- Hormonal changes, such as during pregnancy
- Sjögren’s syndrome, a condition which can cause dry eyes along with dry mouth and arthritis in malnutrition due to a lack of vitamin A in the diet
- Complete examination of the eye surface
- Schirmer's test measures tear production by placing filter-paper strips between your eyeball and your lower lid diagnostic stains (Rose Bengal or Lissamine green stains) to check for patterns of dryness on the eye’s surface
- Eyedrops called "artificial tears" are used to lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture. These come in different consistencies to be used depending on each patient’s degree of dryness.
- Punctal plugs close the channels through which tears drain from the eye. Punctal plugs can be temporary or permanent, and are easily and painlessly inserted in your eye doctor’s office.
- Ointments with vitamin A can help dry eye caused by unusual conditions like Stevens-Johnson syndrome or pemphigoid.
- Restasis (Cyclosporin A) eye drops is a medicated treatment that can help patients with severe, inflamed dry eyes that are not responding to other treatments.
- You can also try to prevent tears from evaporating by wearing eye goggles or glasses when driving the motorbike
- Avoiding direct air blowing into your eyes from air conditioners or fans, and dry air from overheated rooms and hair dryers.
- Smoking irritates dry eyes and should be avoided.
- Rest and blink your eyes regularly while working on the computer.
- Contact lens wear can aggravate dry eyes and is the most common reason why patients cannot tolerate contact lenses. However, newer lens materials can help your eyes to retain moisture. See your eye doctor about whether these new options are suitable for you.