It’s a disorder of the tear film that occurs because of decreased tear production, excessive tear evaporation or abnormality in mucin or lipid components of the tear film. This leads to itchiness, redness or a feeling of burning sensation in the eyes.
Several factors responsible for eye dryness are:
• Menopause in women.
• Long periods of contact lenses usage.
• Excessive computer usage or TV watching
• Excessive exposure to dust
• Insufficient sleep
• Consumption of drugs like estrogens, and excessive intake of beverages like caffeine, alcohol
• Arthritis, gout or usage of corticosteroids, antidepressants can lead to eye dryness.
Its main cause is age. As we grow older, we become more prone to dry eye. It is observed that dry eyes symptoms are more common among women than in men with a ratio of 2:1, who are usually aged above 51 years of age. As per an Australian survey: around 60 percent of patients aged 50 or above, were victims of dry eye symptoms, whereas 16 percent of people had moderate to severe symptoms.
Treatment for Dry Eye
There are many dry eye treatments, which can bring relief to your irritated eyes. These have been listed as below:
• Best treatment options of eye dryness are therapeutic, depending upon the severity of the syndrome. In some cases, the doctors may need to treat the underlying eyelid diseases, or have to modify the environmental conditions of the ocular surface.
• The other method is the use of punctual plugs. These plugs block the drainage of tears and conserve them in the eyes for a longer time. They are painlessly inserted and can be removed by an eye care professional.
• Sealing of the drainage can also be done surgically. This method prevents tears from draining from the eyes and keeps the eyes moisturized.
• Warming of the eye can also heal the worst eye condition. A warming device is used for correcting the tear breakup time.
• The over-the counter dry eye supplements are very effective in providing instant relief to the itchy parts, by providing moisturization to the ocular surface.
• The first and only therapy approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for DES (Dry Eye Syndrome) victims is the topical cyclosporine ophthalmic emulsion. This helps people whose tear production is suppressed due to ocular inflammation.
• Tear substitutes like colustrum helps greatly in treating conjunctival disorder. Oral cyclosporine A (CsA), is used in treatment of severe ocular disorders, which incorporates DES along with other eye problems. This is a topical treatment and deters the possibility of side effects.
Treatments are numerous. However, the unique new topical treatments are good for treating patients with dry eye syndrome, which can be in the primary or secondary stage associated with ocular allergy.
By: Michelle Hudson
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