Thursday, 4 January 2018

What Dry Eye Syndrome Is, Early Warnings And Facts (Must See)

SHARE


Dry eyes are very common, and dry eye syndrome is a major reason for visits to the eye doctor. A recent online poll revealed that nearly half (48 percent) of Americans age 18 and older regularly experience dry eye symptoms. Also, results from a 2012 Gallup poll show that more than 26 million Americans suffer from dry eyes, and this number is expected to increase to more than 29 million within 10 years.
Dry eye occurs when the quantity and/or quality of tears fails to keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated. Experts estimate that dry eye affects millions of adults in the United States. The risk of developing dry eye increases with advancing age. Women have a higher prevalence of dry eye compared with men.

Tears are a complex mixture of fatty oils, water, mucus, and more than 1500 different proteins that keep the surface of the eye smooth and protected from the environment, irritants, and infectious pathogens. Tears form in three layers:

  • An outer, oily (lipid) layer, produced by the Meibomian glands, keeps tears from evaporating too quickly and helps tears remain on the eye. 
  • A middle (aqueous) layer contains the watery portion of tears as well as water-soluble proteins. This layer is produced by the main lacrimal gland and accessory lacrimal glands. It nourishes the cornea and the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane that covers the entire front of the eye and the inside of the eyelids.
  •  An inner (mucin) layer, produced by goblet cells, binds water from the aqueous layer to ensure that the eye remains wet.

Symptoms Of Dry Eye Syndrome 
The Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
. Burning sensation
. Itchy eyes
. Aching sensations
. Heavy eyes
. Fatigued eyes
. Sore eyes
. Dryness sensation
. Red eyes
. Photophobia (light sensitivity)
. Blurred vision

The primary cause of dry eye is a failure of the lacrimal glands to produce enough watery fluid (aqueous) to keep the eyes adequately moistened. This condition is called "aqueous deficiency dry eye." The specific type of dry eye often will determine the type of treatment your eye doctor recommends to give you relief from your dry eye symptoms.

Facts And Precautions 

Medications - Many prescription and nonprescription medicines including antihistamines, antidepressants, certain blood pressure medications and birth control pills increase the risk of dry eye symptoms.

Contact lens wear - Though it can be difficult to determine the exact extent that contact lens wear contributes to dry eye problems, dry eye discomfort is a primary reason why people discontinue contact lens wear.

Smoking - In addition to dry eyes, smoking has been linked to serious eye problems, including macular degeneration, cataracts and uveitis . (For details, see our infographic about why smoking is bad for your eyes .)

Indoor environment - Air conditioning, ceiling fans and forced air heating systems all can decrease indoor humidity and/or hasten tear evaporation, causing dry eye symptoms.

Aging - Dry eye syndrome can occur at any age, but it becomes increasingly more common later in life, especially after age 50.

Computer use - When working at a computer or using a smartphone or other portable digital device, we tend to blink our eyes less fully and less frequently, which leads to greater tear evaporation and increased risk of dry eye symptoms.
SHARE

Author: Richard Smith