Suffering from DRY EYE?
Advanced Dry Eye Treatment in Mumbai @ REH
WHAT IS DRY EYE?
Eyes are protected by a thin layer of tears. Tears are instrumental in protecting, nourishing, and lubricating the outer surface of the eye. A healthy tear film is very important for good vision. This tear film is composed of oil, mucus, water, and many other protective molecules. Tears nourish, protect, and lubricate the outer surface of your eyes. Each layer has its unique function in ensuring that the film forms a smooth and clear covering over the eye.
If the quantity or the quality of the tear film is compromised, due to any reason, one starts experiencing symptoms of dry eye. In the dry eyes syndrome, your eyes aren’t able to provide adequate moisture either because of poor quality or insufficient tears. The three components of a tear film are. oil, mucus, and water.
WHAT CAUSES DRY EYES?
The two broad mechanisms for dry eye disease is a decrease in the number of tears and a change in the quality of tears, which may occur due to the following reasons:
- Poor quality of tears: This occurs due to many reasons, the most common ones being Meibomian gland dysfunction and blepharitis. The oily layer of the tear film is not healthy and thus, the tear film gets evaporated quickly leaving the corneal surface exposed and dry.
- Less quantity of tears: Tear production decreases as part of the natural aging process. It also decreases in patients with conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Steven-Johnson syndrome, etc.
- Environmental factors: Continuous exposure to the TV/Computer/Mobile screen, Air-conditioned, or windy environment are contributory factors.
- Contact lens wearers: Higher risk in those using extended wear contact lenses compared to daily disposable ones.
- Postmenopausal Women: Hormonal changes may be the cause.
- Diseases: Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Sjogren Disease, Thyroid diseases
- Dietary factors: Dehydration, Deficiency of Vitamin A, D, essential fatty acids can aggravate dry eye.
- Damage to your tear glands: Radiation, Inflammation, injury, chemical injury can damage your glands and reduce your tear secretion.
- Eyelid Disorders: Entropion (In-turning of eyelids) or Ectropion (Out-ward turning of eyelids), Stroke or Bell’s Palsy which causes difficulty incomplete eye closure.
- Drugs: Certain medications like anti-hypertensives, anti-allergy medication, birth control pills, anti-depressants, anti-psychotic medicines, and even certain eye drops can also contribute to dry eye disease.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF DRY EYES
Dry eye disease can present in many ways and can be quite distressing. These symptoms are often overlooked and can eventually lead to significant consequences. You may experience one of the following symptoms:
- Stinging or burning sensation in your eyes
- Irritating, grittiness or the feeling of sand or foreign particles in your eye
- Redness or pain
- Continuous or intermittent watering
- Heaviness and a feeling of tiredness around the eye
- Headache especially over the forehead area
- Mucus or discharge in or around your eyes
- Increased light sensitivity
- The blurred vision which worsens towards evening or after prolonged periods
DRY EYE TREATMENT IN MUMBAI
Dry eye disease has gained a lot of importance because of increasing incidence. Dry Eye Treatment in Mumbai is done by specialized eye doctors. Identifying the cause of dry eye disease guides the further line of management. For most individuals with mild symptoms, over the counter, lubricating eye drops forms the mainstay of treatment. However, in more severe cases, a multi-step approach is required.
Prescription medications used for the treatment of dry eye in Mumbai include:
- Artificial tear drops: These form the main line of treatment in almost all cases. Many over the counter formulations are available. However, it is advisable to consult a dry eye specialist to know which lubricating eye drop is best suited for your eyes.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs: Inflammation on the surface of your eyes (cornea) may be controlled with prescription eye drops that contain the immune-suppressing medication cyclosporine or corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are not ideal for long-term use due to possible side effects.
- Antibiotics: Inflammation and infection along the edge of eyelids can keep oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Antibiotic eye drops/ointments/tablets may be prescribed to control the infection.
- Other eye drops: These are reserved for more severe and specific cases. They include tear-stimulating drugs and drops made from your blood (autologous serum).
Other procedures that may be used to treat dry eyes include:
- Plugging your tear ducts: Tear ducts may be plugged to prevent your tears from leaving your eyes too quickly. Silicone plugs or thermal cautery may be used to do this. This may be temporary or permanent.
- Special contact lenses. Certain contact lenses help form a shield over your eye and trap the moisture in. These are called corneal shields or scleral lenses or bandage lenses.
- Thermal treatment: Warm compresses or eye masks used daily can help clear up blocked oil glands. Newer methods include thermal pulsation devices which give focussed heat energy to the eyelid glands and stimulate the release of secretions.
- Light therapy and eyelid massage: A technique called intense-pulsed light therapy followed by a massage of the eyelids has proven to help people with severe dry eyes.
- Helping you close your eyelids: This is done by Lateral Tarsorrhaphy in which the outer one-third of your eyelids are sewn together.
WHAT ARE THE COMPLICATIONS OF DRY EYES?
- Increased risk of eye infections due to the lost protective cover of the tear film
- Inflammation leading to corneal scarring, ulcers and vision problems
HOW CAN YOU PREVENT DRY EYES?
Here are a few lifestyle modifications that you can make to prevent dry eye:
- Quit smoking.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Use humidifiers to dampen dry indoor air in winters.
- Avoid directing hair dryers, air conditioners, fans towards your eyes.
- Take regular eye breaks during long reading tasks or while using the computer.
- Remember the 20-20-20 rule i.e close your eye for 20 seconds after 20 mins of continuous work and look at an object 20 feet away.
- Position your computer screen below your eye level. Ensure the correct posture.
- Include Flax seeds, Spinach, Walnuts, Fish in your diet since they are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Use goggles while swimming (to protect against chemicals) and protective glasses /helmet when riding a bike.
ADVANCED FACILITIES AT RUSHABH FOR DRY EYE TREATMENT
We have a dedicated Dry eye clinic at Rushabh Eye Hospital and Laser Centre to address the growing problem of dry eye disease. A series of elaborate tests are performed to diagnose and subsequently treat you by our dry eye disease specialist, Dr. Shreya Shah.
1. Detailed documentation of your complaints: Using a standard questionnaire, which helps us gauge the severity of your symptoms.
2. A comprehensive eye exam. An eye exam that includes a complete history of your overall health and your eye health to help your doctor diagnose the cause of your dry eyes.
3. Measuring the volume of your tears. Your doctor will measure your tear production using the Schirmer test. In this test, blotting strips of paper are placed under your lower eyelids. After five minutes your doctor measures the amount of strip soaked by your tears.
4. Determining the quality of your tears. Other tests use special dyes in eyedrops to determine the surface condition of your eyes.
5. Infrared Imaging of your eyelid glands: Known as infrared meibography, this allows the doctor to view the structure of the glands in your eyelids and the stage of the disease.
Treatment is then initiated after careful assessment of the overall findings and symptoms.
FAQ's ABOUT DRY EYE SYNDROME
Yes. Dry eye is a known condition which occurs after any intraocular surgery- be it Cataract surgery or LASIK. There are multiple reasons for it. However it is transient and get resolved after a certain period of time. It also depends on the person’s age and general health. Your eye surgeon will be able to tell you what you should expect after eye surgery.
With age, the natural tear production decreases and effective tear clearing mechanisms in the eye are also affected. This is why, dry eye is prevalent in persons above the age of 50 years. However, younger individuals who work on the computer for long durations are also at high risk for developing dry eye.
Untreated dry eye can cause significant amount of discomfort and decrease in productivity of the patient. Persistent lack of tears increases the susceptibility to eye infections, ulcers, inflammation and scarring which can even result in loss of vision.
The chlorine in the water can irritate your eyes for some time. It usually does not lead to permanent damage. While cooking does not cause dry eye disease per se, it can aggravate the symptoms in someone already suffering from chronic dry eye disease.
This depends on the cause of the dry eye. With advanced diagnostic and treatment modalities now available, symptoms of dry eye can be successfully controlled.