Dry Eyes

  • The eye depends on the flow of tears to provide constant moisture and lubrication to maintain vision and comfort.
  • Tears are a combination of water, for moisture; oils, for lubrication; mucus, for even spreading; and antibodies and special proteins, for resistance to infection.
  • Special glands located around the eye secrete these components.
  • When there is an imbalance in this tear system, a person may experience dry eyes.


  • Pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • A gritty sensation
  • A feeling of a foreign body or sand in the eye
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Blurring of vision
  • Sometimes, excess tears running down the cheeks.


  • An imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye,
  • Situations that dry out the tear film. This can be due to dry air from air conditioning, heat, dust, cigarette smoke or other environmental conditions.
  • Working long hours on the computer, the eye is constantly focused on the screen and neglects to blink enough to lubricate itself, causing an uncomfortable dryness
  • Long term contact lens usage can be a cause of dry eye syndrome - in fact, dry eyes are a rather common complaint amongst contact lens wearers


Other conditions that may cause dry eyes are:

  • The natural aging process, especially menopause.
  • Side effects of certain medications such as antihistamines and birth control pills.
  • Diseases that affect the ability to make tears, such as Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and collagen vascular diseases.
  • Structural problems with the eye lids that don't allow them to close properly.



Though dry eyes cannot be cured, there are a number of steps that can be taken to treat them. Treatments for dry eyes may include:

Artificial tear drops and ointments.
1. It is the primary treatment for dry eye. 
2. If you have chronic dry eye, it is important to use the drops even when your eyes feel fine, to keep them lubricated. 
3. If your eyes dry out while you sleep, you can use a thicker lubricant, such as an ointment, at night.

Temporary punctal occlusion.

Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eye. This is first done via a painless test where a plug that will dissolve over a few days is inserted into the tear drain of the lower eyelid to determine whether permanent plugs can provide an adequate supply of tears.

Permanent punctal occlusion.

If temporary plugging of the tear drains works well, then silicone plugs (punctal occlusion) may be used. The plugs will hold tears around the eyes as long as they are in place. They can be removed.

Cyclosporine eye drops.

It is currently the only prescription eye drop that helps your eyes increase their own tear production with continued use.

Other medications.

Other medications, including topical steroids, may also be beneficial in some cases.


If needed, the ducts that drain tears into the nose can be permanently closed to allow more tears to remain around the eye. This is done with local anesthetic on an outpatient basis. There are no limitations in activity after having this surgery.

Special Precautions:

Rest your eyes
When reading, watching television or working at the computer, stop periodically - about once every 20 minutes - to give your eyes a break and remember to blink!

Protect your eyes 
If you suspect that, your dry eye syndrome is being caused by the environment -then take steps to reduce your exposure to these elements. 
a. Wear sunglasses whenever you head outdoors. Proper sunglasses, with adequate UV protection lenses and protective wraparound frames, not only shield your eyes from the sun, but also give an added layer of protection against wind, dirt and dust particles in the air. 
b. At home, use an air cleaner to filter out dust and mould particles in the air.
c. If your home is air-conditioned or heated, get a humidifier to add moisture.

Avoid direct air-conditioning
Sit away from blasting air vents or turn the vents away from you. Heating or air-conditioning can dry out your eyes quickly.

Remove your contact lenses
a. If you wear contact lenses for long periods, give your eyes a rest. The constant rubbing of the lenses against the conjunctiva could aggravate the condition. 
b. Pick super moist contact lenses with a high water content,to keep your eyes well lubricated.

Pick the right eye drops
Artificial tears can offer temporary relief. But pick the thicker formulations as these remain in the eyes longer and you'll need to reapply them less frequently. And use only the preservative-free, commercially prepared formulations.

Use a washcloth compress
Soak a washcloth with warm water, squeeze out the excess moisture and place it over your close eyelids for 10 minutes several times a day. This helps to unclog the oil glands in the eyelids to free the flow of oil in your eyes, thus keeping them lubricated naturally.

How to Relieve Dry Eyes?
Drink lots of water to keep your body hydrated
Get lots of sleep to keep your eyes well rested and healthy
Minimize your time in harsh weather conditions
Load up on foods high in nutrition for the eyes, especially foods that are rich in vitamins A, C and E.


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