Dry disease is defined as a multifactorial disease of the tear film and ocular surface that causes symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface.
It is in the midst of increased osmolarity of tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface.
What are the functions of tear?
The tear is secreted by the exocrine gland it spreads over the ocular surface and is drained by the lacrimal canaliculi within the nasolacrimal duct. Tear consists of three layers. The lipid layer stops evaporation of the tear film, which forms the outermost layer, followed by the aqueous layer, which includes the centre and bottom-most mucus layers.
What happens to tears in very dry eyes?
The normal tear consists of various proteins, mucin and electrolytes. In dry eyes, the composition of tear film changes. There is a decrease in protein and an increase in electrolyte composition, causing symptoms of dry eyes.
Predisposing factors to dry eyes
- Age >60yrs
- Increased usage of contact lens
- Lack of sleep
- Increased screen time
- Ocular surgery – Lasik and other refractive surgeries
- Allergic response, air pollution
- Certain medications – antihistamines, antidepressants
- Autoimmune conditions – Sjogren syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis
Computer vision syndrome
Computer vision syndrome is a condition accompanied by kind of symptoms that occur because of increased use of computers for over 3 hrs per day.
The patient often complains of redness, irritation and watering of the eyes related to the tiredness of the eyes and headache.
Dry eyes mainly occur because of reduced blinking of eyes during usage of computer, where the eyes are deprived of a fresh tear film.
Treatment of computer vision syndrome
The patient is advised to follow the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 mins of screen time, the patient is advised to take a break of 20 seconds and focus on an object that is remote.
Frequent blinking of the eyes can prevent the deprivation of a fresh tear film to the ocular surface.
The screen brightness should be reduced to a minimum to avoid straining of eyes.
Maintaining the right posture while using a monitor is extremely much important in reducing the ocular strain.
How to know whether you have got dry eyes?
- Dry, painful sore eyes
- Episodes of blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Discomfort while watching monitor, TV
- Frequent use of artificial tears
The patient is subjected to a series of clinical investigations, and also the dry eyes are graded per the severity, and management is initiated.
The primary aim of the treatment is to alleviate the discomfort, provide a smooth optical surface, and forestall structural ocular damage.
Mild kinds of dry eyes are treated by educating the patient regarding the triggering factors of dry eyes like medications or allergens and environmental modification.
The use of aqueous supplements within the type of eye drops and gels will be very helpful. The commonest sort of aqueous supplement given is carboxymethylcellulose.
Eyelid therapy to treat margin eyelid disease will help the patient feel better.
Moderate and severe varieties of disease are managed by punctal plugs or permanent punctal occlusion, which is able to prevent the tear from getting drained and retain it within the ocular surface for an extended time.
Anti-inflammatory agents, mucolytic agents, contact lenses and autologous serum tears are other options available in severe disease cases.
In this technology-dependent era, it is difficult to cut off our time from the screens of different electronic devices. So try to regulate, manage and give rest to your eyes. Proper eye care is as important as care for the other systems, as our eyes are the windows to the soul.
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