Dry eye syndrome
What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye is a syndrome that causes eye discomfort, visual problems and, in some cases, lesions on the eye surface, hence affecting the cornea and conjunctiva. It can have different degrees of severity and is due to the instability or alteration of the tear film, either owing to poor tear production or excessive evaporation. Furthermore, the diagnosis is usually associated with different degrees of inflammation.
This is a multifactorial, complex and chronic condition, which it is important to address in a customised way in each patient to offer the best solution, while taking into account the causes that have triggered it.
Other common symptoms you may notice are dry and tired eyes, itching and stinging and even fluctuating vision, which is characterised by blurred vision that improves with blinking.
The causes of dry eye syndrome are very diverse and can occur individually or jointly at the same time. The main factors are advanced age – as tear production decreases by up to 60% over the years –, hormonal changes – thus affecting more women than men –, certain eye surgeries, contact lens wear and autoimmune diseases, such as Sjögren’s syndrome.
Similarly, diet (vitamin deficiency) as well as antidepressant and antihistamine drugs or chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments can also trigger dry eyes. Even environmental factors associated with today’s lifestyle, such as pollution, air conditioning and heating or spending a lot of time in front of screens (a situation where we blink less and the tears evaporate faster).
Finally, you should also bear in mind that many cases of dry eye are related to eyelid problems, such as eyelid malposition, blepharitis or dysfunction of the Meibomian glands. These glands, which are located under the eyelash follicles, are responsible for providing the fat or lipid part of the tear (necessary for it to be of good quality), and their dysfunction affects about 85% of patients with dry eye.
The approach to dry eye syndrome is gradual and requires an appropriate initial diagnosis and classification by the ophthalmologist, who can then choose the most effective treatment, according to type and severity. Among the different options, the following should be noted:
- Use of hyaluronic acid-based eye drops or moisturising products that emulate natural tears and do not decrease self-production or irritate the eye.
- Eyelid hygiene care: you should regularly clean the eyelid edge with a neutral shampoo or specific wipes for eyelid hygiene. Previously, we also recommend applying hot pads to the area and performing a gentle massage to facilitate the release of bacteria and fat from the Meibomian glands.
- Treatment with corticoids and cyclosporine: indicated in cases with severe inflammation of the eye surface.
Moreover, there are several treatments with innovative technologies that we offer at the Miranza clinics’ Dry Eye Department to complement the care you can provide at home.
Ask for an appointment at Miranza and take care of your eye health.