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Definition of Dry Eyes, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

Definition of Dry Eyes, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention; Dry eye disease is a condition of the eyes that experience a lack of fluid due to volatile tears or too little tear production. Another name for dry eye disease is keratoconjunctivitis sicca or dry eye syndrome. Someone who experiences this disease will get symptoms, in the form of:

  • Red eye
  • Swollen eyes
  • Eyes feel hot
  • Eyes hurt
  • The eyes feel sandy and dry
  • The eyes feel itchy
  • Vision becomes sensitive to sunlight
  • Temporary blurred vision improves when flashing
  • The presence of a thin mucous membrane around the eyes
  • Upper and lower eyelids stick together when you wake up.

The severity of dry eye disease varies, from mild to severe levels with pain or even complications. In most of the cases, the symptoms that are felt are relatively mild.

Understanding Dry Eyes, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prevention

Causes of dry eyes

The decline or disruption of tear production and the rapid evaporation of tears in cases of dry eye disease can be triggered by several factors, including:

  • Age (most cases of dry eye disease occur in the elderly).
  • Hormonal changes, for example during pregnancy, when using contraceptive pills, and when approaching menopause.
  • Activities and habits that cause the frequency of the eyes to blink less such as reading, working at the computer, and writing.
  • Certain diseases, such as blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction, contact dermatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, allergic conjunctivitis, Sjogren's syndrome, HIV, scleroderma, bells palsy, and lupus.
  • Injury to the eye
  • Radiation exposure
  • Side effects of using lens contacts
  • Side effects of laser surgery on the eyes (Lasik)
  • Side effects of drugs (eg antidepressants, diuretics, beta-blockers, and antihistamines)
  • Environment (for example living in a high area, or having a dry, hot and windy climate)

Dry eye diagnosis

Examination of dry eye disease can be done by an ophthalmologist by looking at the signs seen in the eye, as well as the symptoms felt by the sufferer. In addition to regular examinations, sometimes doctors also need special examination techniques to strengthen the analysis.

One type of test to determine whether or not a patient has dry eye disease is Schirmer's test. Through this test, the doctor will measure the level of dryness in the eye by attaching a special piece of paper that can absorb fluid in the lower eyelid for 5 minutes. If at that time the length of the wet area on the paper is only less than 10 millimeters, then the patient has dry eye disease.

To find out how fast the tears dry up, the doctor can do a test called the Fluorescein dye test. The test, which is assisted by a special yellow and orange dye, can also be used to detect damage to the eye surface. In addition to the Fluorescein dye test, damage to the eye surface can also be detected with a Lissamine green test.

Dry Eye Treatment

Before going to the doctor, try treating your dry eyes yourself if the symptoms are relatively mild. Use over-the-counter eye drops in pharmacies that have moisturizing properties or function as a substitute for tears.

If your own treatment at home doesn't work, then see a doctor. By a doctor, you will usually be prescribed medication that can stimulate tear production or increase the number of tears, and reduce the risk of damage to the cornea.

If the medication is not able to cope with dry eyes, the doctor will offer you a procedure for clogging the tear drain or punk plug. Through this procedure, the drainage holes in the corner of the eye will be blocked so that the eyes do not dry quickly. The procedure for punktus plugs is temporary and some are permanent. If needed, a permanent blockage procedure will be carried out by the doctor and of course with the patient's approval.

Prevention of dry eyes

Dry eye disease can be prevented by:

  • Maintain eye cleanliness and the surrounding area.
  • Protect your eyes from exposure to dust if you live in a dry and windy area.
  • Using free-selling air moisturizer products on the market.
  • Avoid using eye makeup such as eyeliner and mascara.
  • Eating foods that are rich in omega-3 and omega-7 substances.
  • Protect your eyes from exposure to smoke when you're on the highway.
  • Rest your eyes if you feel tired or tense after working all day in front of a computer screen.
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