The dry eye takes place when the eye is not able to produce tears correctly, or when the tears created are not of the proper consistency and thus evaporate too quickly.
Also, irritation of the eye surface may take place along with the dry eye. If the dry eye condition is not treated, it can lead to scars on your cornea, pain, ulcers and temporary loss of vision.
The dry eye syndrome makes it difficult for a person to perform certain activities such as using computers, reading for extended durations, and it may decrease tolerance for environments that are dry, such as the air found inside a plane.
What Are Its Variations?
1. Aqueous tear-deficient disorder - it is an eye disease where the lacrimal glands are unable to produce enough tears to sustain a healthy eye surface.
2. Evaporative disorder - it mainly results from inflammation of the meibomian glands found on the eyelids. The glands produce the oily tear parts that slow down the evaporation process and helps keep your tears stable.
The disorder is commonly associated with the following:
- Inflammation of the conjunctiva, the lacrimal gland or the eye surface
- Disease processes that alter the tears components
- An increase in the eye surface such as in thyroid disease which makes the eyes to protrude forward
- Cosmetic surgery
To know whether you suffer from this syndrome, you can check the following symptoms.
- Burning or stinging eye
- Pain and redness in the eye
- Heavy eyelids
- Eye fatigue
- Chewy discharges from the eyes
You could find that the eyes tire faster than they are used to or that you experience difficulties sitting in front of a computer for extended durations.
The tears shed by your eyes come in three layers. There is the outer coat, which is oily, the thin middle layer and the internal mucus coating.
If the glands that manufacture the various components of the tears become inflamed, or unable to produce enough oil, water, or mucus, it can lead to this syndrome.
The syndrome is caused by:
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Staring at a computer screen for long durations
- LASIK eye surgery
- Medications such as antidepressants
The syndrome is common in individuals who are above the age of fifty, and mostly affects women.
Pregnant women and those going through menopause, as well as those that are on hormone replacement therapy, are more at risk than the others are. A deficiency of vitamin A can also cause this syndrome.
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