What is Dry Eye?
To help keep the eyes comfortable and vision optimal, a normal, thin film of tears coats the eyes. Dry eye is a condition which results due to inadequate or ineffective wetting and lubrication of the eye. It primarily occurs due to reduction in quality or quantity of the tears and tear film.
What are its symptoms?
You can experience following problems:
- Redness of the eyes
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Itching & stinging
- Foreign body like sensation in the eye
- Blurred vision that improves on blinking
- Excess watering of the eye
- Mucus discharge from the eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Decreased tolerance to contact lenses
- Increased eye discomfort on reading, watching TV, sewing, working on a computer etc.
What are the causes of Dry Eye?
Dry eyes could be because of several factors:
- Natural Ageing Process -There is a reduction in the production of natural tears as we grow older
- Environmental Conditions such as hot, dry or windy climate, air pollution, air conditioning, dusty or smoky atmosphere, over heated rooms
- Occupational - working on computers for long periods of time, results in less blinking thus leading to eye strain and dry eye.
- Systemic Diseases - such as Sjogren's Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis,
- Medications with Side Effects - Antihistamines, anti depressants
- Prolonged Contact Lens usage
- Radiation Therapy of the head and neck
- Refractive Eye Surgery such as LASIK and PRK
- Infections - Blepharitis.
- Hormonal Changes - menopause
- Vitamin A Deficiency
What is the treatment of Dry eye?
- Using eye drops containing artificial tears. They lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture.
- Avoid direct exposure of your eyes from heaters and air conditioners at face level.
- Conscious effort to blink regularly while working on computers
- Avoid smoky atmosphere
- Avoid smoking
- Use periodic cold, moist compresses for eyes
How computers affect your eyes?
Eye strain has been reported with most extensive computers usage. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) is a condition resulting from focusing the eyes on a computer screen for long periods of time.
Some symptoms of CVS are blurred vision, headaches, neck pain, redness in the eyes, dry eyes, irritation in eyes and diffiiculty refocusing the eyes. These symptoms can be further aggravated by improper lighting conditions or air moving past the eyes (e.g direct air from an AC).
Dos and Don’t of Computer usage
- Keep a minimum distance of 25 inches between the computer screen and the eye
- The monitor top should be tilted away from the eyes
- Use dark letters on a light background
- Keep the screen at or below the horizontal eye level
- Use indirect lighting suspended from the ceiling. Use curtains to avoid reflection due to outside light.
- Avoid direct flow of air on your eyes.
- Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes. Blink regularly.
- Consult a doctor immediately if you have any problem.