Dry Eye

Dry Eye Syndrome

Symptoms

Grainy or foreign body sensation, burning, eye-fatigue, sometimes excessive watering of the eyes. Symptoms increase with prolonged use of the eyes and towards the evening, environmental polution, dry climates.

Etiology

Usually no cause can be found (idiopathic), Sometimes associated with Collagen-vascular diseases, chemical and thermal burns, lacrimal gland lesions, Vitamine A deficiency. Drugs which can cause dry eye include – oral contraceptives, antiallergics, antihypertensives, etc.

The basic problem is a decreased tear film breakup time (normal values > 10 seconds). This is either due to deficient production of tears, or due to an altered composition of tears, or due to reduced blink rate (as in computer vision syndrome).

Treatment

For mild to moderate dry eye, artificial tears in the form of drops and ointment. If an inflammatory etiology is determined anti-inflammatory eye drops may be prescribed.

Elimination of the causitive factor if identified.

For severe dry eye punctal occlusion and / or tarsorrhaphy surgery may be needed. Special contact lenses may also be used.