What Dry Eye Treatment Options You Can Choose?
Dry eyes occur when the tears are not able to lubricate the eyes. There are a few situations that can cause dry eyes such as on an airplane, air conditioning room, riding a bike, or looking continuously on a computer screen for a long time. The top layer oil glands smooth the tear surface and slow down the rate of evaporation.
The middle layer is produced by lacrimal glands containing water and salt. They help in cleaning the eyes and washing away the irritants or particles. The inner layer that is mucus helps in spreading the tears evenly over the eyes. The malfunction causes dry patches on the cornea. This post explores the diverse dry eye treatment options you can pick.
Signs You Have Dry Eyes
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of dry eyes such as:
- The feeling of stinging, burning, or itching sensation in the eyes
- Having stringy mucous in and around the eyes
- Having sensitivity to light
- Redness, irritation, and having watery eyes
- Discomfort in contact lens use
- Difficulty in driving at night
Causes of Dry Eyes
The healthy tears are always covered with tear film, and produce tears all the time we yawn or experience an emotion. The tears keep the eyes stable each time we blink and prevent them from becoming dry.
The insufficient production of tears creates dry spots on the surface of the eyes and cause dry eyes. There are various causes behind the dry eyes and some of which are:
When there are inadequate tears, it leads to dry eyes in some people. But in others, it can occur due to increased tear evaporation and imbalance of the makeup of the tears.
Remember, the tears in our eyes are a mixture of water, fatty acids, and mucus that keeps the surface of eyes smooth, clear and protect the eyes from the infection.
1. Decreased Tear Production
Certain conditions can cause decreased production of tears which are:
- With the growing age, the tendency of the eyes to produce tears decreases, and at an old age, people often have problems with tear production.
- The health conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, thyroid, and vitamin A deficiency can cause dry eyes.
- A few medications like antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, acne, high blood pressure, or medications related to Parkinson’s disease can decrease the production of tears, thereby causing dry eyes.
- Some laser eye surgery can cause temporary symptoms of dry eyes.The damage to the tear gland due to inflammation or radiation also can cause dry eyes.
2. Increased Tear Evaporation
Some of the reasons behind the increased tear evaporation are:
- When you concentrate on something like reading, driving, or looking at a computer screen, you blink your eyes less that causes evaporation of tears.
- Getting exposed to your eyes to wind, smoke, or dry air also can cause increased evaporation of tears. The eyelid problems like out-turning or in-turning of eyelids can also cause evaporation of tears.
Treatment of Dry Eyes
The dry eye syndrome is diagnosed by measuring the amount of tears in the eyes. The treatment depends on the underlying cause.
The main aim is to keep the eyes lubricated by making most of the natural tears, using eye drops, and by reducing the tear drainage.
1. Artificial Tears and Eye Drop
The artificial tear is available over the counter that you can choose according to the advice of the doctor. They are helpful in lubricating mildly dried eyes.
2. Using Natural Tears
The natural tears can be used by:
- Protecting the eyes from wind or hot air
- Avoiding smoking
- Keeping the temperature moderate
- Consciously blinking eyes while watching TV or computer
3. Cleaning and Massaging the Eyelids
Clean the eyes by wiping the eyes with the help of a piece of cotton wool dipped in water. It will help to reduce the inflammation. A gentle eye massage in a circular motion with the help of a clean finger removes the mucus from the eyes.
If the problem is due to eye infection or psoriasis, it needs to be treated first. Your doctor will prescribe you certain medications in the form of eye drops to treat chronic dry eyes.
In case of blepharitis condition that needs the area to be cleaned regularly, the doctor will prescribe antibiotic drops or an ointment for use at night.
In severe cases, the eye doctor will insert punctual plugs into the tear ducts to block the drainage that will keep the surface of the eyes lubricated.