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What is dry eye syndrome and how is it treated?

Our eyes are under enormous stress. We constantly look at the screen of electronic devices (smartphones, computers, TVs), work in rooms with air conditioning and heating, which make the air dry. This leads to unpleasant sensations familiar to almost everyone – irritation, itching, a feeling of "sand", redness and fatigue. If these symptoms accompany you constantly, then most likely you have "dry eye syndrome".

Why does dry eye syndrome occur

Dry keratitis, as it is also called, occurs when the tear film is unstable. Usually this phenomenon is characteristic of people who, for some reason, have impaired tear secretion or increased tear evaporation.

More and more people suffer from it due to prolonged work at the computer. The problem is that when a person looks at a computer screen for a long time, he blinks much less often. The tear evaporates and does not have time to fill up in time, so there is a high dryness of the mucous membrane. Concentrated work with a constant look at the screen contributes to fatigue. In addition, air conditioners or heating are often used in offices, which makes the air drier. As a result, most office workers experience symptoms of this syndrome. Together with long work at the computer, this significantly exacerbates the negative condition of the eyes.

Other circumstances leading to dry keratitis:

  • The syndrome often occurs in postmenopausal women, when there is dryness of all mucous membranes in the body due to hormonal changes.
  • For the same reason, it can occur when taking hormonal drugs.
  • Increased tear evaporation can be observed when the eyelids are not closed completely, for example, when they are deformed.
  • Dry eye syndrome occurs in contact lens wearers because the lenses can absorb tears when they dry out.
  • Dry eyes can also occur under certain environmental conditions, such as windy weather or excessive cigarette smoke.

How to know if you have dry eye

Typical signs that office workers especially experience are:

  • dryness of the surface of the cornea,
  • burning sensation, foreign body sensation,
  • itching and fatigue,
  • sense of swelling of the eyelids due to irritation of their inner surface.

More vivid and severe manifestations are headache, redness and a feeling of pressure in the eyes. All of them, as a rule, are especially clearly felt in the evening. In addition, sensitivity to bright light may also appear.

Oddly enough, but with dry eye syndrome, people often complain of lacrimation. This happens because the compensatory mechanism works: the mucous membrane dries up, and the eyes try to moisturize naturally. But the fluid produced by this does not have the lubricating effect that is necessary to eliminate the symptoms.

Unfortunately, these are not just harmless discomforts. If this condition is left unattended for a long time, it can lead to microcracks on the surface of the cornea and even to its ulcer. In addition, due to the weakening of the mucosa, concomitant infections can often occur. Therefore, the syndrome must be treated and prevent its occurrence.

Treatment of dry eye syndrome

First of all, if you work a lot at the computer, then be sure to try to take breaks as often as possible. Take a break from the monitor and switch your gaze, blink, let your eyes rest. Avoid rubbing irritated eyes, as this will only aggravate the symptoms.

Try to create the most favorable environment possible, do not allow dust to accumulate, avoid cigarette smoke, air conditioners, heaters. It is advisable to use a humidifier, especially in winter.

In mild to moderate dry keratitis, as well as when wearing contact lenses, patients are shown special moisturizing and lubricating eye drops. They will help restore moisture to the mucosa and provide comfortable conditions. Eye drops with hyaluronic acid, a natural component of body fluids and tissues, are especially popular now. Many moisturizing drops can be applied and instilled without removing contact lenses, but be sure to read the instructions for the drops.

If you have symptoms of dry eye syndrome and want to find the right moisturizing drops, see an ophthalmologist for a diagnosis and diagnosis. Do not self-medicate.

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