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More About Dry Eye

Causes of Dry Eye -

Scarring in the eye, due to any reason like Chronic Inflammation as in Trachoma, Pemphigus etc.
Some drugs like diuretics, antihistaminics, sleeping pills, beta blockers taken for hypertension.

Symptoms -

Feeling of dryness, burning, stinging in eye, excess tearing, redness of eyes, stringy mucus in and around the eye, difficulty  in wearing contact lenses.

Even women suffer from dry eye!

The eye-doctor will do some simple tests in the office, to detect the severity of your dry eye condition, and accordingly, he will advice you about the treatment you need. The tests include putting some eye drops and observing your eyes on the Slit-Lamp magnification. He may measuring the wetting of a filter-paper put in your eye.

Ways to treat Dry eye:

Artificial Tears.
Lubricating Eye Ointment
Punctal Plugs
Punctal Blockade 

A trial of Artificial tears is simple and effective in relieving the symptoms, though not the basic illness.

A host of Tears substitutes are available in the market.

They contain -

Methyl cellulose and its derivatives e.g. Tears Naturale.
Polyvinyl alcohol e.g. Hypotears.

Preservative free tears are advocated  mainly for those with allergies ,though they can be used by others too. They may be more expensive.

Applying Lubricating ointment at night helps.

Occlusion of the lacrimal punctum with Silicon Punctal Plugs. This decreases the drainage of tears and keeps the eye wet, thus conserves tears. The Silicon Plugs are tiny, shaped like a double arrow and do not cause any irritation to the eye. They can be removed and inserted with ease,  by the eye-doctor, in the office.

A permanent treatment of dry eye is Punctal Occlusion (Blockade). This means the lacrimal  punctum is blocked by using Laser Burn or with heat Cautery. It is not done very frequently but is of great help in cases of severe dry eye.




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