Causes, symptoms and possible treatment for dry eye
Dry eyes are the result of a broken tear film. There are various reasons for this. One common one is environmental conditions. Diseases and an unbalanced diet can also cause dry eyes.
This is usually treated with eye drops, but there are other types of treatment.
Many people notice that their eyes are dry from time to time. This dryness can also indicate a chronic and mostly progressive disease. The so-called "dry eye syndrome" is also known professionally as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or sicca syndrome.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
The sicca syndrome usually arises from a disturbance of the tear film .
There are two variants of this disorder:
- too little tear fluid is produced to properly lubricate the eye
- or the balance of the tear film is upset, causing the liquid to evaporate too quickly.
Dry eye syndrome is a well-known eye disease because it is very common. Depending on age groups, it can affect up to over 15% of people. This occurs more frequently with age.
Dry eyes – the causes are mostly commonplace
Many symptoms of the syndrome are encountered in everyday life. It is also difficult to distinguish whether you only have dry eye or whether you are affected by Sicca Syndrome. Since all abnormalities are practically the same in both situations.
Here are some causes of dry eye:
- Environmental conditions: wind, low humidity, polluted air, cigarette smoke and air-conditioned rooms.
- Changes in the body: Dry eyes often occur in connection with hormonal changes. For example, during pregnancy or puberty. Another point are medications as well as nutrient deficiencies.
- Diseases: The dry eye syndrome can also be caused by underlying diseases. Allergies also have a negative effect on the tear film in the eyes and can contribute to dry eyes.
Symptoms of dry eyes
Common symptoms of dry eyes are burning, itching and a foreign body sensation. However, there is also the possibility that it can lead to increased tear flow. The tear fluid produced must also have the right composition in order to be able to supply the eye.
If this is not the case, the eye reacts by producing more tears.
In rare cases it can also happen that you feel pain or a stinging sensation in your eyes. Then you should urgently consult an ophthalmologist.
Treatment of dry eyes
It is important to first recognize whether a possible underlying disease is the reason for the dry eyes. If this is the case, it must also be treated.
If you can rule out an underlying disease, then you devote yourself to the treatment around the eyes.
All treatment methods serve to improve the tear film or the quality of the tear film.
Here are some simple tips on how to keep the tear film stable or even improve it:
- Diet is an important part of our overall health. Omega-3 fatty acids support production and have a positive effect on the quality of the tear film. These are found in linseed oil, salmon, chia seeds or walnuts. It is also important to drink a lot of water.
- When using make-up - mainly in the eye area - it is important to remove it thoroughly. General hygiene and thorough washing of the eyes reduce the formation of bacteria.
- When working on screens, it is important to take frequent breaks in order to relieve the strain on the eyes and thus prevent them from drying out.
- It is important for contact lens wearers to take a break from wearing them for about 1-2 days a week. The wearing time during the day should not exceed 6-8 hours.
- Sunglasses protect you from UV rays.
Eye drops for dry eyes are also often used.
These are also often called “ artificial tears ” and are available in different consistencies. An ophthalmologist can tell you exactly which drops you need.