Our eyes need to be coated with moisture so as to function properly. It is easy to compare our eyes and the need for a lubricant to coat the eye ball to that of a motor, where as a comparison a lubricant (usually oil) is needed so as to ensure the moving parts work properly. As we know if a motor was required to perform without the parts being well lubricated it would only take a short time before the non-lubricated moving parts would suffer from abrasions. In situations where our eyes do not have enough lubricant the condition is known as ‘Dry Eye’.
Dry eye, or dry eye syndrome as it is often known, is a medical condition that occurs when the sufferer’s eyes lack the correct formation of lubricant. Usually the lubricant is in the form of tears and dry eye is as a result of the body not producing sufficient quantities of tears to oil the eyes and make them relaxed. This condition is more prevalent amongst older people. In America alone around 30 to 40 million people suffer from dry eye syndrome. About three quarters of sufferers have fairly mild cases, however many of the remaining 10 million or so sufferers experience extremely serious cases of the affliction.
One of the very important aspects of dry eye care is having the sufferer understand the symptoms associated with the condition and address the problem correctly. As a guide most people suffering from this problem usually experience constant irritation, their eyes ache and they experience a burning sensation as well as a grainy feel in on and around the eyes.
If you suffer from this condition it is important that you undertake an eye care program as soon as possible because if the eyes go untreated it can possibly result in more serious problems occurring in the future. These serious symptoms can include scarring, infection of the cornea and in the most severe of cases even permanent loss of vision. It is vitally important that dry eye syndrome be treated because failure to do so may result in serious consequences.
Dry eye care starts with preventative measures to ensure adequate moisture is present in the eyes. If you have noticed that you have a distinct lack of moisture in your eyes it is recommended that you take steps to avoid the use of hair driers, use glasses to deflect wind from the eye region, avoid extremely warm rooms and of course avoid smoke. Other preventative measures include wearing glasses rather than contact lenses, using a man made tear ointment at night before going to bed and use humidifiers in rooms that have been heated.
From Dry To Damp
When Dry Eye Syndrome cannot be prevented, your dry eye care should include treating the eyes with formulated eye drops. Many brands of effective eye drops can be bought over the counter and do not require a doctor’s prescription. In essence these drops work as fake tears. Currently a great deal of scientific research is being undertaken to develop more advanced medications for the treatment of this eye condition.
In more serious cases the eye’s cornea becomes terribly irritated. In some of these situations the use of anti-inflammatory agents are encouraged to combat the condition. An effective dry eye care remedy for short-term usage only, includes topical steroids as an ingredient in the eye drops. However, it is not recommended that these compounds be used over an extended time frame because of the known side effects.
As part of the modern treatment regime researchers are trying to find out ways of restricting the extent of the eyes swelling, instead of just oiling the eye’s surface. They have developed a number of methods to reduce the dry eye condition, including one method where the doctor attempts to close the channels from the eye to the nose. Another method involves using very small plugs to control the speed and volume of the flow of tears as they drain from the eyes.
So if you think that you may suffer from this syndrome and are in need of dry eye care please consult your doctor for advice on preventative measures as well as effective treatment for your condition.