Having a busy daily activity, especially having to be in front of the computer for hours, certainly causes the eyes to become tired and even potentially dry. This condition will be more serious to chronic if not treated quickly. Find causes and what to do for the best treatment in Dry Eyes: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, and Treatment (Easy to Use at Work & Home)
Dry eyes definition
Dry eyes, also known as dry eye syndrome, are conditions when the eyes cannot produce tears as they should, or when tears cannot work properly to lubricate the eyes.
This condition often causes discomfort. In some cases, dry eyes can affect the quality of vision.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of dry eye sufferers include:
- Red eyes
- Eyes feel hot
- Eyes like sandy and dry
- Watery eyes due to the body’s response to irritation of dry eyes
- Sensitive to sunlight
- Blurred vision
- It is difficult to open the eyes when waking up because the upper and lower eyelids stick
- Difficulty driving at night
- Having trouble wearing contact lenses or driving at night
- Eyes feel tired quickly
- Hot, stinging, or itchy sensations inside the eyes
What causes dry eyes?
Some many conditions and habits cause the eyes to become dry. Some possible causes are:
Hormones stimulate the production of tears. There are hormonal changes, especially the decrease in androgen hormones that are commonly experienced by women. Because of this, it can increase the risk of dry eyes.
A decrease in androgen hormones is commonly found in pregnant women. These changes continue to occur, even after childbirth and lactation. Therefore, women will still experience symptoms of dry eyes at this time.
In addition to dry eyes, many women report experiencing sore eyes, or some feel cramped in them. This condition causes the eyes of pregnant women to be more sensitive to glare and sometimes makes their eyes itch.
Dry eyes are more commonly experienced by elderly people. This may be due to the production of tears that decrease with age, and the eyelids become less sensitive to flattening tears throughout the surface of the eye.
Some diseases can affect the ability of the eye glands to produce tears, for example:
- Rheumatoid arthritis (A chronic inflammatory disorder that affects many joints, including in the hands and feet)
- Lupus (Inflammatory disease caused when the immune system attacks its tissues)
- Scleroderma (Chronic hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissue)
- Thyroid disorders (Enlargement of abnormal butterfly-shaped glands under Adam’s apple(thyroid)
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Bell’s palsy (sudden weakness of some facial muscles)
- Contact dermatitis (skin rashes caused by contact with certain substances)
With dry eye, many people also develop blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). MGD is an inflammation of the eyelid margin that can block the tear glands from producing oil in the tear film. Blepharitis can affect anyone, regardless of age, and is generally caused by a bacterial infection or other conditions, such as rosacea.
You may have occasional Wandering Eyes for no apparent reason. Even the incident can be repeated not only once. Know the cause and how to deal with it, because it could be a symptom of a disease.
Dry eyes can be a side effect of the consumption of certain medications. Here are the drugs that could be the cause:
- Acne medications are taken (isotretinoin)
- Hypertension drugs
- Birth control pills and hormone therapy
- Antidepressants and antipsychotics
- Parkinson’s disease drugs
Environment and activities
Environmental factors are not the main cause, but rather factors that can aggravate the condition of dry eyes. Some of them such as dust, smoke, wind, sun, hot weather, wind, or being on high.
Also, when you’re reading, working in front of a computer screen, writing, or activities that require other visual concentrations, the eyes tend to blink less frequently. This means that the tear film will evaporate faster than the refill process.
Some people who have undergone LASIK eye surgery report experiencing dry eyes a few weeks after the surgery. Symptoms will usually go away on their own after a few months, but in some cases can go on. In addition, dry eyes can also occur due to irritation due to the wearing of contact lenses.
Problems with eyelid structure
The entropy (reversal of the inner eyelid outwards) and entropy (the outer eyelid that goes inside) can cause the eyes to become dry and irritated due to the tear layer evaporating rapidly after constant contact with the outside air.
Dry eyes can also occur due to nocturnal lagophthalmos, a condition in which the eyelids do not close completely during sleep.
How was the condition diagnosed?
If you feel a complaint of dry eyes that is quite annoying, visit your doctor immediately for an eye examination.
Here are some steps you can take to check for dry eyes:
Inspection with slit lights
In this step, the doctor will use a microscope equipped with a slit light to see the condition of the tears.The first step the doctor will do is to give special drops to see your tears. After that, the doctor then examines the parts of the eye with the slit light.
Schirmer’s test is done so that the doctor can find out how quickly your eyes produce tears. The doctor will put a small paper on the edge of your eyelid, then see how long it will take for the eyes to water.
Tear break up time (TBUT)
TBUT is a test to see the tear layer persist after blinking. If the coating doesn’t last long, it means your eyes have less moisture.
How to treat dry eyes Easy to Use at Work & Home
In general, dry eye treatment is done by resting the eyes only. However, if these symptoms are too severe or there are other diseases, medical treatment may be required.
Self-contained actions that can be done at home or where you work to overcome dry eyes, including:
- Protects the eyes from environments that cause dry eyes, such as windy, hot, smoky, or dusty weather. Avoid these environments or use glasses as a protector, as well as use a humidifier or air filter indoors.
- Adjust room lighting when working in front of a computer screen, watching television, or while reading.
- Many consume omega-3 fatty acids that can improve dry eye conditions. Omega-3s are found in many types of fish, such as mackerel, tuna, sardines, or salmon.
- Rest your eyes occasionally while doing work that requires the eye to see up close.
- Relieve dry eyes by washing your eyes with artificial tears.
- If necessary, contact a doctor to determine the appropriate eye drops.
- Improve air quality in the room where you work or do activities.
- Adjust the position of the monitor and television well so as not to overload the eyes.
- Adjust the screen brightness of the gadget as comfortably as possible for the eyes.
- If necessary, take certain supplements that are useful to relieve eye fatigue
If this treatment has not been fully successful, or you feel increasingly uncomfortable with vision and eye conditions that are getting worse, then consult a doctor to get treatment in the form of:
One of the usual medications given to treat dry eyes is antibiotic drugs to relieve inflammation at the tip of the eyelids and immune suppressant drugs (e.g. cyclosporine or corticosteroids) that are efficacious in reducing inflammation of the cornea of the eye.
Nevertheless, prolonged consumption of corticosteroid drugs can cause side effects. As for encouraging the production of tears, doctors can give cholinergic drugs, such as pilocarpine. If dry eyes are still not resolved, the doctor may suggest using eye drops made and processed from the person’s blood (autologous serum eye drops).
LipiFlow thermal pulsation
This tool aims to open the barriers of the oil glands that are the cause of dry eyes. During this therapy, a bowl-shaped tool will be fitted to the eyes, and give a gentle and warm massage on the lower eyelid.
Intensely-pulsed light therapy
Light therapy followed by a massage on the eyelids can help people with severe dry eyes.
Special contact lenses
Contact lenses called scleral lenses are recommended for sufferers to protect the surface of the eye and maintain eye moisture.
This procedure can be performed in cases of severe dry eyes and cannot be treated with other therapies. The operation is performed by permanently clogging the tear drain so that the surface of the eye will always be damp.
Another surgery is the autotransplantation of the salivary glands. In this procedure, the salivary glands of the lower lip are removed to be placed inside the skin around the eyes to act as a substitute for the tear glands.
When to see a doctor?
See a doctor immediately if you have signs and symptoms of prolonged dry eyes, including red eyes, irritation, fatigue, or pain. The doctor will wisely take steps to determine what is bothering your eyes or refer you to a specialist.