Dry eye is a common, multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance and tears film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface, accompanied by changes in the quality of the tear film and ocular surface.
Main Types of Dry Eye:
Aqueous Deficiency Dry Eye: Where the tear production may be reduced.
Evaporative Dry eye: Where the tears are produced in normal amounts, but evaporate quicker than normal.
Causes of Dry Eye:
The structural abnormalities of the lids or functional
Ocular surface irregularities
Contact lens wears
Dry Eye syndrome is more common in women, possibly due to hormone fluctuations. A recent study also indicates that the risk of dry eyes among men increases with age.
Treatment for Dry Eye
Dry eye syndrome is an ongoing condition that may not be completely curable (depending on the cause). But the accompanying dryness, scratchiness, and burning can be managed. Treatment usually requires routine use of drops to supplement the dry surface. Apart from lubricating eye drops and antibiotic/anti-inflammatory drops, various treatments are available depending on the underlying cause. Punctal plugs can be inserted into the ducts that drain the tears of the eyes to prevent their outflow in severe cases. Certain modifications in the diet, with foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. in salmon), may help in the long term by reducing the risk of dry eye in certain individuals.