What is Dry Eyes?
What is Dry Eyes? Dry eye disease is a condition of the eyes that lack fluid from tears that are volatile or tear production is too little.Other names of dry eye diseases are kerato conjunctivitis sicca or dry eye syndrome. Someone who has this disease will get symptoms, such as:
- Red eye
- Eyes swollen
- Eyes are hot
- Eyes hurt
- Eyes felt gritty and dry
- Eyes itch
- Vision becomes sensitive to sunlight
- Temporary blurry vision improved when blinking
- The presence of thin mucous membranes around the eyes
- The upper and lower eyelids stick together when you wake up.
The severity of dry eye diseases varies, ranging from mild to severe levels with pain or even complications. In most cases, the symptoms are considered mild.
Cause of Dry Eyes
The decline or disturbance of tear production, as well as the rapid evaporation of tears in cases of dry eye disease can be triggered by several factors, including:
- Age (most cases of dry eye disease occur in the elderly).
- Hormonal changes, such as when pregnant, when using contraceptive pills, and when approaching the menopause.
- The activities and habits that cause the eye frequency to flicker are reduced such as reading, working in front of a computer, and writing.
- Certain diseases, such as blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction, contact dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, allergic conjunctivitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, HIV, scleroderma, bell’s palsy, and lupus
- Injury to the eye
- Exposure to radiation
- Side effects of contact lens wear
- Side effects of laser surgery on the eyes (Lasik)
- Side effects of medications (eg antidepressants, diuretics, beta-blockers, and antihistamines)
- Environment (eg living in high altitudes, or dry climates, hot, and windy)
Diagnosis of Dry Eyes
Examination of dry eye disease can be done by an ophthalmologist by looking at the visible signs on the eyes, as well as symptoms that are felt by the patient. In addition to regular checks, sometimes doctors also require special examination techniques to strengthen the analysis.
One type of test to determine if a patient has dry eye disease or not is Schirmer’s test. Through this test the doctor will measure the level of dryness in the eye by attaching a special piece of paper that can absorb fluid in the lower eyelid for 5 minutes. If within that time the wet area of the paper is less than 10 millimeters, it means the patient has dry eye disease.
To find out how quickly the tears dry up, the doctor can perform a test called Fluorescein dye test. The test in which is assisted by a special dye of yellow and orange color can also be used to detect any damage to the surface of the eye.
In addition to the Fluorescein dye test, damage to the surface of the eye can also be detected by the Lissamine green test.
Dry Eye Treatment
Before going to the doctor, try to treat yourself first dry eyes if the symptoms are still relatively mild. Use free-selling eye drops in pharmacies that have the properties of moisturizing the eyes or serve as a substitute for tears.
If your own treatment at home does not work, then see a doctor. By your doctor, you will usually be prescribed medications that can stimulate tear production or increase the amount of tears, as well as reduce the risk of damage to the cornea.
If medication is not able to cope with dry eye, then the doctor will offer you the procedure of blockage of a tear drain or a punk plug. Through this procedure, the exhaust holes located in the corner of the eye will be blocked so that the eye does not dry quickly. Procedures of the punk stop are temporary and some are permanent. If necessary, a permanent blockage procedure will be performed by the physician and of course with the patient’s consent.
Dry Eye Prevention
Dry eye disease can be prevented by:
- Keeping eye clean and surrounding areas.
- Protect your eyes from exposure to dust if living in dry and windy areas.
- Using air-humidifying products that are sold freely in the market.
- Avoid wearing eye makeup like eyeliner and mascara.
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 and omega-7 substances.
- Protect your eyes from exposure to smoke when on the road.
- Rest your eyes if it feels tired or tense after working all day in front of the computer screen.