Diagnosis and treatment of dry eyes
Diagnosis and treatment of dry eyes
There are various ways to diagnose and treat dry eyes, or in another name, Xerophthalmia. This disease occurs as a result of many reasons. It prevents enough tears from moistening the eyes, accompanied by a feeling of tingling or burning in the eye, and these symptoms can occur. In many familiar life situations, Such as a period after sitting to watch a TV program for a long time, or after sitting in one of the air-conditioned rooms, or after long traveling by plane, and tears dryness are common in South Asian countries and Africa.
What is the function of tears?
Tears are among the essential fluids secreted by the body. This occurs in a physiological natural way, or if a person experiences, happy or sad emotions, and yawning can cause tears to be produced:
The physical benefits of tears: Tears help moisturize the cornea of the eye, and protect against bacteria and germs that may try to attack the person through the eye.
The psychological benefits of tears: in the event of a person being exposed to a problematic situation; the brain sends a signal to the eye to release tears to relieve internal feelings, which helps to withstand the situation, and tears are used to express the severity of the impact in general.
What are the symptoms of dry eyes?
The symptoms of dry eyes are:
Feeling itchy or burning in the eye.
Secretion of tears for long periods.
Not being able to see well.
Disturbed vision and disturbance, which increases after focusing on something for a long time.
Threaded mucus inside or around the eye as a thread.
Eye redness and sensitivity to light.
Having difficulty using contact lenses.
Eye injury fatigue shortly after reading.
What are the causes of dry eye disease?
There are a group of causes that can lead to dry eyes, and we will learn about the following:
Defect in the components of tears:
In the event of a defect in one or more components of tears; this can affect the amount and efficiency of tears produced, and these components are as follows:
Water layer: the lacrimal glands create the water layer, and this layer includes other materials such as laceration and lactoferrin, which helps protect microbes and germs.
Protein layer: The protein layer is produced by the Goblet cell in the conjunctiva, which leads to cohesion between the brightness of the eye and tears, and many diseases affect the protein layer.
Fat layer: This layer arises from the eyelid glands, and works to prevent tear evaporation and the lack of tear in the upper cheeks, as it helps to reduce the friction of the eyelids with each other.
Electrolytes: These are ions with positive charges, and negative ones that are found in aqueous solutions. The disturbance of the electrolyte causes a defect in the lacrimal fluid.
Use of some medications:
There is a range of medications that cause dry eyes, including pain relievers, birth control medications, antidepressants, and diuretics that treat high blood pressure and anti-allergens.
Use of contact lenses for long periods:
In case of excessive use of contact lenses; this leads to a decrease in the production of lacrimal fluid, as well as less oxygen supply to the cornea, in addition to that contact lenses lead to a reduction in the sensitivity of the cornea. Consequently, this increases the dryness of the eye.
Infection with some diseases:
Some diseases lead to dry eyes, including scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and lupus.
Eyelid height and lack of eyelash:
In case the eyelid rises or does not close it completely, this leads to rapid evaporation of tears, and some diseases cause this condition; Such as facial nerve palsy, and increased thyroid activity, where the eye protects and widens when opening the eyelids, and there are some pathological problems that lead to the folding of the eyelids, Entropion, such as internal and external outer.
In the case of doing some work that leads to focusing eyesight, and not blinking for a long time, such as when watching a computer, or when driving cars, this causes dry eyes.
Damage to the lacrimal glands:
Blood glands may become infected due to infection with bacteria or germs, which will lead to fewer tears.
Decreased corneal sensitivity:
The cornea consists of five layers of clear, curved tissue, and refraction of light occurs at the top of the cornea. Before it enters the eye, the cornea doesn’t contain any blood vessels, and it obtains oxygen directly through the air, and the sensation of the cornea helps correctly in the production of tears. Decreased sensation of the cornea; this leads to a decrease in tear secretion and hence dry eyes.
Females are more likely to develop dry eyes than males. After menopause, or as a result of contraceptive use, hormonal changes occur; it leads to impaired functions of the sebaceous glands in the eye, resulting in dry eyes.
Vitamin A deficiency:
In the case of eating diets that don’t include vitamin A, this causes dry eyes, and the essential foods that have vitamin A are broccoli, carrots, and liver.
The age group over 50 is more likely to develop dry eyes compared to the younger age groups.
One of the complications that can occur after eye surgeries is a tear fluid, but this can be temporary.
Pituitary insufficiency is caused by inflammation or exposure to elevated levels of radiation, resulting in insufficient production of the hormones that help in performing various functions in the body (Including LH, ADH, ACTH, and TSH). Among the negative causes of pituitary insufficiency is eye dryness.
In the event of exposure to dry air, dust, or smoke; this is among the effects that cause dry eyes.
How can eye dryness be diagnosed?
There are various methods for diagnosing dry eyes, the most prominent of which are explained below:
A comprehensive eye examination: Through this examination, it is possible to identify the various negatives in the cornea, lens, and retina, and then arrive at a reason for the presence of defects that lead to dry eyes.
Schirmer's test: In this examination, the treated paper is technically placed on the lower eyelid. After five minutes have passed, the specialist examines the amount of tears in the paper, and then it can be found whether there is a decrease in the amount of tears or not.
Determining the proportions of the components of the eye: Through this examination, it is possible to identify the proportions of the compounds that make up the lacrimal fluid and then to identify any defect in these components (aqueous layer, protein layer, lipid layer).
What are the complications caused by dry eyes?
Complications that can be caused by dry eyes are:
Exposure to an eye infection: tears protect the eyes from the occurrence of infection. They represent a protective shield, and in the case of dry tears, this increases the possibility of suppurations, and possibly scars, leading to damage to the cornea. If the treatment is neglected, this may lead to loss of vision.
Difficulty in performing life activities: It is challenging to perform life activities due to the lack of tear fluid, including reading, driving, watching TV, etc.
What are the remedies for dry eyes?
There are a variety of methods for treating dry eyes, and the quality of treatment depends on the reasons for the lack of tear fluid production, which helps manage the case by the ophthalmologist.
For example, if one of the infected has been taking medication for various pathological causes, leading to dry eyes. The doctor may replace this with other medicines, as well as in the event of an eyelid fold, whether it is an internal or external inversion, and lead to less tear secretion. The doctor can adjust this through surgical intervention, and the dryness of the eye goes away with the end of the cause, and the same is true if the patient has rheumatoid arthritis, so a doctor who specializes in rheumatoid diseases can be directed to end this problem. Consequently, it will solve the problem of dry eyes.
The following are ways to treat dry eyes:
Medicines that treat keratitis: Keratitis that causes dry tears can be treated with a variety of inhibiting drugs.
Valleys that help reduce eyelid infections: Sometimes, the cause of dry eyes may be the presence of infections that prevent glands from producing lacrimal fat. In which case, the doctor determines an antibiotic to get rid of the inflammation, and these drugs are used by mouth or as an ointment or as a drop.
Cleaning the sebaceous glands: cleaning the sebaceous glands is among the critical means to treat dry eyes, as this helps to restore the production of tears, and sebaceous glands can be cleaned; Through the use of eye masks, or a warm compress, or by a heat impulse.
Blood Drops: Self-drops can be made from the blood of the victim, in case of severely dry eyes, without responding to any other types of therapeutic drugs, where a sample is drawn from the blood of the victim, removing red blood cells. Then the product is mixed with saline solution, and it is used as a drop.
Therapeutic contact lenses: There are types of contact lenses in this period that help protect the surface of the eye from the evaporation of tears, and then reduce dry eyes. Those types of lenses are suitable for those who suffer from severe dehydration in tears.
Medications to stimulate the lacrimal glands: There are different types of drugs that help in stimulating the lacrimal glands towards tear secretion, and they are available in the form of drops, gel, or pills.
Pulsed phototherapy: Through pulsed phototherapy, it can help massage the eyelids, and then treat dry eyes.
Eye inserts: in case the eyes are dry or moderate; Small-sized prostheses can be used daily and placed behind the lower eyelid, helping to provide artificial tears that moisturize the eye.
Close the tear ducts to reduce the production of tears: Sometimes, the drying of tears is to increase their secretion very quickly. Then the treating doctor suggests closing the tears channels in whole or in part, with the use of artificial drops, and the cauterization of the tear ducts can be used, in addition to the possibility of Using silicone sealers can be removed.
Alternative treatments: There are alternative options, but they require further research and study. Some of them may reduce the impact of complications of dry eyes, including castor oil drops that help prevent the evaporation of tear fluid, as well as eating rich omega as a food. Such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and flaxseed, and can also be taken as a dietary supplement.
How can I prepare to see a doctor?
If an ophthalmologist is referred to it for dryness of tears, it is essential to prepare before going, and to do the following:
Write down all the symptoms that the patient suffers from.
Preparing questions that the patient wants to inquire about.
Writing all the medications that the person is taking for other medical reasons.
What questions can the patient ask the ophthalmologist?
What kind of medical exams can be done?
What are the reasons for my dry eyes?
What treatments are available to me?
Is there an opportunity to improve dry eyes without medications?
What are the adverse effects of dry eye treatment?
How can I cope with other diseases that I suffer from dry tears?
What websites can I get information from?
Are there other follow-up visits?
What questions can the ophthalmologist ask the patient?
What symptoms does the patient suffer from?
When did the symptoms begin to appear?
Are the symptoms permanent or intermittent?
Does any member of the family suffer from dry eyes?
Are there eye drops you've used previously? Did they pay off and reduce symptoms?
Do symptoms increase in the morning or at night?
What is the nature of medications that are taken by the patient?
Have you been to another doctor for the same symptoms in a previous period?
Have previous tests been performed regarding dry eyes?
What are the main ways to protect from dry eyes?
Several procedures can be followed to prevent dry eye disease, the most important of which are the following:
Please refrain from smoking: If people with dry eyes are smokers, it is essential to immediately refrain from this, with the importance of avoiding places where smokers are present. To prevent exposure to secondhand smoke, your physician can prescribe a plan to stop smoking, with some medications.
Placing the computer screen in a lower level than the eye: If the computer screen used is in a position higher than the eye level, this will lead to opening the eyelids for a long time, and the evaporation of tears, and it is vital to put it below the eye level.
Avoid adverse weather conditions: it is essential to follow the weather conditions, and take this into account when going out to work, to avoid dirt and dry air, protective glasses can be worn to prevent dry eyes.
Humidifying the air: There are different types of humidifying the air in the winter, which helps to protect the eyes from tears.
Avoid eye exposure to air: The eyes shouldn’t be exposed to air directly, such as fan air, air conditioning, or hair dryers.
Eye relief: in the case of activities requiring continuous reading. It is essential to take a period of eye comfort, while closing the eye for a few minutes, as well as the eye can be closed and opened quickly for seconds to distribute tears over the surface of the eye and avoid dry eyes.