Visique Eye Spy | A Guide to Dry Eye Syndrome

A Guide to Dry Eye Syndrome


You may be all too familiar with the feeling. Throughout the day, your eyes begin to feel dry, sensitive to light, even watery or blurry. This uncomfortable sensation is known as dry eye syndrome, a condition affecting millions of people all around the world. At Eye Spy, we understand the frustration and discomfort dry eyes can bring. In this handy guide, we'll walk you through the world of dry eyes, sharing valuable insights into the causes, symptoms, and effective treatments for this common, yet often underestimated eye condition.

Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease (or keratoconjunctivitis sicca), is a common eye condition that occurs when your eyes don't produce enough quality tears to keep them lubricated. This lack of moisture can lead to discomfort, irritation, and in some cases, vision problems. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for dry eyes is crucial for maintaining healthy and comfortable vision.

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

Several factors can contribute to the development of dry eyes. Some common causes include:

Aging: As we age, our tear production tends to decrease, making older individuals more prone to dry eyes.

Environmental Factors: Exposure to dry or windy climates, air conditioning, central heating systems, and even prolonged screen time can lead to increased tear evaporation and dry eyes.

Medical Conditions: Conditions like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, Sjögren's syndrome, and even undergoing LASIK eye surgery can affect tear production and quality.

Medications: Certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, and antidepressants, may reduce tear production.

Contact Lens Use: Dry eye with contact lenses is all too common, often caused by prolonged use in dry or dusty environments, areas with high levels of air conditioning, or just due to general irritation.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

Recognising the symptoms of dry eyes is essential for early intervention. Some common signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:

Dryness: Your eyes may feel dry, itchy, or gritty.

Redness: The whites of your eyes may appear red or bloodshot.

Watery Eyes: Ironically, dry eyes can lead to excessive tearing as your eyes try to compensate for the lack of moisture.

Sensitivity to Light: You may experience increased sensitivity to light, especially in bright or sunny conditions.

Blurred Vision: Vision can become temporarily blurred, particularly during tasks like reading or using digital screens.

Discomfort: You may feel a burning or stinging sensation in your eyes.

Treatments for Dry Eye Syndrome

Managing dry eyes involves a combination of lifestyle adjustments, environmental changes, and, in some cases, medical interventions. Here are some dry eye treatment tips to help you better manage the condition:

Use Artificial Tears: Dry eye drops in the form of over-the-counter artificial tears or lubricating eye gels can provide temporary relief by adding moisture to your eyes.

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to maintain overall hydration, which can help with tear production.

Blink Regularly: Take breaks from screens and remember to blink regularly to keep your eyes moist.

Protect Your Eyes: Wear wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes from wind and environmental irritants.

Humidify Your Environment: Use a humidifier to add moisture to indoor air, especially during dry seasons or in air-conditioned spaces.

Limit Contact Lens Wear: If you wear contact lenses, consider reducing their use, especially in challenging environments.

Dietary modification: Increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids into your diet. This may include eating more seafood ( salmon, tuna and mackerel ) or nuts and seeds (chia seeds and flaxseed oi). Alternatively this can be done through supplementation (Lacritex Pills)

Can Dry Eyes Go Away By Itself?

In some cases, mild dry eye symptoms may improve with lifestyle adjustments and the use of artificial tears. However, chronic or severe dry eyes often require ongoing management and treatment. It's essential to consult an eye care professional for a thorough evaluation and tailored treatment plan.

Medical Interventions for Dry Eyes

When lifestyle adjustments and over-the-counter treatments aren't sufficient, your eye care professional may recommend medical interventions for dry eyes. These treatments can include:

Prescription Eye Drops: Prescription eye drops can help reduce inflammation and increase tear production.

Punctal Plugs: Tiny silicone plugs can be inserted into the tear ducts to block drainage and keep more tears on the eye's surface.These can be temporary or semi-permanent.

Tear-Stimulating Medications: Medications can stimulate tear production.

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy: IPL therapy can help reduce inflammation and improve tear gland function.

Meibomian Gland Expression: This procedure involves applying gentle pressure to the eyelids to release blocked oil glands and improve tear quality.

Lid scrubs: specialised lid scrubs and in-office debridement which can be helpful in reducing inflammation that causes dry eye

Scleral contacts lenses: Specialised contact lenses can be used to prevent evaporation and retain tears.

Dry eyes are a common condition that can affect anyone, but with the right knowledge and care`, you can find relief and enjoy comfortable vision. If you're experiencing persistent dry eye symptoms or seeking guidance on managing and treating this condition, we encourage you to reach out to us here at Eye Spy. Our team would love to help, and can offer support and treatment options, conduct assessments and recommend a personalised plan to alleviate your symptoms and improve your eye comfort.

If you have questions, concerns, or wish to explore treatment options, please don't hesitate to reach out or schedule an appointment online. We're here to help.

The Eye Spy Team

About the author

Maile Tarsau