Dry Eye Syndrome: what it is, symptoms and care

Dry eye syndrome is a condition that results in discomfort and visual disturbance due to lacrimal instability, i.e. insufficient tear production to keep the eyes moisturised.

Dry Eye Symptoms

People affected by this condition often suffer when watching TV or working in front of the computer. In these situations, the natural lubrication that occurs every time we blink ends up being compromised, as we blink less frequently. In addition, these people may suffer from eye irritation, such as the sensation of having a foreign body inside their eyes.

Some other annoyances caused by dry eye syndrome are a feeling of irritation in the eyes, episodes of tearing (followed by a period of severe dryness), the presence of viscous secretions in the eye, photosensitivity and discomfort when reading for a long time. This condition can even interfere with the patient's vision, causing episodes of blurred vision.

dry eyes

What can cause dry eye syndrome?

External environmental conditions can play an important role in cause of dry eye, such as excessive sun exposureIt can also be caused by pollution or strong winds. However, internal environmental conditions can also increase the propensity to this condition. For example, women are more likely to develop this syndrome than men, due to hormonal changes. In addition, people over the age of 65, as a result of the natural ageing process, end up showing symptoms of dry eye.

Some of the causes can also be associated with medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems, and even some medications can reduce the quantity and quality of tears. Medicines such as antihistamines, decongestants and antidepressants can cause this adverse effect.

The diagnosis

Two tests can be used to diagnose this condition: Schirmer test and the BUT test. The first will assess the amount of tear production, while the second will assess tear stability, i.e. the duration of hydration of the eye surface. 

The treatment

O treatment for dry eye depends very much on the cause and level of development of the condition. In general, the use of artificial tears is common for this treatment. In more serious cases, specific contact lenses can be used, which aim to protect the eye in a similar way to tears. It is important to understand the specific cause so that the problem can be treated effectively.

Prevent Dry Eye Syndrome

Some easy and very simple measures can be taken to avoid this problem. Protecting your eyes from irritants such as strong winds and cigarette smoke can be very effective, but both are very common in everyday life. Wearing sunglasses can protect against these irritants, as well as avoiding excessive exposure of the eyes to the sun. In addition, keeping the eye area sanitised and drinking plenty of fluids can also help prevent dry eyes.

We can therefore conclude that, despite being a very common condition, Dry Eye Syndrome can cause very uncomfortable symptoms for the patient. So take precautions and keep yourself protected.

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