What are the causes of dry eyes?
Age, hormonal changes, autoimmune diseases, systemic diseases, poor diet, tasks that require constant focus such as computer work, rosacea, dry environments, inadequate blinking, stress, certain medications such as antihistamines, antihypertensive, oral contraceptives, beta blockers, antidepressants as well as many more.
What are the signs and symptoms?
- Redness or inflammation of the eyelid margins
- Scales or flakes at the base of the lashes
- Crusting/discharge of the lid margins, usually worse in the morning
- Foreign body sensation, grittiness, sandy feeling, irritation
- Film over the eyes
- Red eyes
- Dry or burning eyes
- Watery Eyes
- Eye Fatigue
- Reduced vision
- Sensitivity to light
If untreated, the above may lead to chronically infected and inflamed eyes, potentially leading to styes, loss of lashes, chronically red inflamed blood vessels in the eye, droopy eyelids, conjunctivitis and allergic eyes.
How is it cured?
Unfortunately, dry eye syndrome, MGD and blepharitis is usually a chronic condition for which there is no known cure. However, early diagnosis and proper treatment is key to controlling the symptoms and to prevent worsening of the condition.
What is the treatment?
- Treatment may require daily eyelid hygiene, vitamins or medications:
- Warm compresses applied directly to the eyelid margins to help loosen the debris on the lashes.
- Thorough eyelid cleansing with a gentle eyelid cleaner to remove debris, crust and toxic products form the lid margin.
- Antibiotics, steroids or other medications may be required to control more severe cases of dry eye syndrome.
- Application of artificial tears and lubricants may also be used to relieve symptoms.
- Pharmaceutical Grade Omega 3 supplements balanced in EPA/DHA/DPA are widely recommended as it may treat the internal cause of dry eye syndrome, MGD or blepharitis.
- LIPIFLOW is a new treatment available to treat evaporative dry eye disease.
It is important to know that in some cases, it may take up to eight weeks to notice an improvement. The condition may seem like it is getting worse before it gets better. Ongoing lid hygiene, vitamin supplementation and or medications may be necessary to keep the condition under control.