Of dry eyes and silent weeping!
- By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi
Dry eyes is a serious medical condition that has to be eliminated from the root to prevent permanent damage to the eyes.
Dry eyes is a very common and extremely discomfiting condition. If you use your computer for long hours or work in an air-conditioned environment for several hours at a stretch, or ride your bike for long distances, you may be familiar with Dry Eyes.
Dry Eyes is also known medically as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca or Xeropthalmia. This condition occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist or the tears produced are of an inferior quality.
When we blink our eyes, tears spread across the front surface of the eye, the cornea. These tears provide the necessary lubrication, reduce the risk of eye infection, wash away any foreign matter in the eye, and keep your eyes smooth and clear.
Omega 3 fatty acids are known to have a protective effect on the eyes. They help in reducing the severity of dry eyes by decreasing the inflammation. So, increased consumption of fish like mackerel, tuna and sardines, palm oil, soya bean, flaxseed and walnuts will help you recover and stay protected against dry eyes.
Symptoms of Dry eyes:
- Stinging, burning sensation in the eyes.
- Stringy mucus at the corner of your eyes.
- Excessive irritation of eyes in smoke.
- Photophobia or sensitivity to light.
- Redness of eyes.
- Sensation of a particle of dust in your eyes.
- Difficulty in wearing contact lenses.
- Blurred vision, which typically worsens at the end of the day, at times accompanied with excessive tears.
Dry eyes may also be seen in certain conditions like:
- Post eye-surgery
- Medical Conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, Scleroderma, Sjogrens syndrome, thyroid disorders and vitamin A deficiency.
- Eyelid problems like ectropion (out-turning of eyelids) and enteropion (in-turning of eyelids)
- Medications like antihistamines, anti-diabetic drugs, antidepressants, isotretinoin drugs for acne and hormone replacement therapy.
Dry eyes can lead to permanent damage of the eyes by frequent infections and scarring of the eye surface.
Treatment: Treatment aims at removing the cause of the condition. Along with it, antibiotic eye drops to fight the infection and eye drops that will keep the eyes moist are prescribed.
Home Remedies: Omega 3 fatty acids are known to have a protective effect on the eyes. They help in reducing the severity of dry eyes by decreasing the inflammation. So, increased consumption of fish like mackerel, tuna and sardines, palm oil, soya bean, flaxseed and walnuts will help you recover and stay protected against dry eyes.