What is Dry Eye Disease?
If you often experience the discomfort of dry, irritated eyes - then you may know that the causes can be both complex and cumulative.
Dry Eye Disease (DED) is essentially a chronic inflammation of the ocular surface and the severity of symptoms progresses over time if the cause is not effectively and consistently treated. Early diagnosis of DED is important.
Causes of Dry Eye Disease
MEIBOMIAN GLAND DYSFUNCTION
As we age, the composition of our tear film alters making our tears have less lubrication to eyes surface.
Blocked glands can cause thinner and unstable tear layer on the eye, allowing tears to evaporate faster.
OTHER MEDICAL ISSUES
Laser anterior eye surgeries, allergies, thyroid disease and, arthritis can all contribute to DED by reducing blink rate and abnormal tear production..
Medications such as antihistamines and antidepressants can reduce the mucus and water content of tears.
Excessive staring at screens can lead to decreased blink rate, causing insufficient moistening action of the eye.
Air-conditioned rooms, wind, sun or dry air are environments that can lead to dry eyes. Wearing make-up or wearing the wrong contact lenses can also influence eye dryness. So wear your sunglasses to protect your eyes!
Eyes need a diet that contains essential fatty acids and non-inflammatory foods to support normal tear production.
Treatment of Dry Eye Disease
Depending on the severity, DED treatment approaches can range from:
First-tier home managed eyelid gland therapies
Copious new biomimetic eye drops
Antibiotics and steroid medications
One of the benefits of your regular eye examination is that I routinely examine your external eye for tell-tale signs of DED so symptoms don’t develop. As ever, early detection is the key.