Symptoms

Dry Eyes – Causes, Treatment

Dry eyes

More and more people are suffering from dry eyes – it itches and burns. Dry eyes can significantly reduce the quality of life if the condition persists and is not treated properly. But if you follow a few tips and tricks and find out about the causes, you won’t have to suffer from dry eyes for much longer.

What are dry eyes

One speaks of dry eyes when the eyes produce too little tear fluid, either felt or medically proven. The inner edges of the eyelids remain dry, and even blinking several times does not help to eliminate the feeling of dryness. Dry eyes are often described by patients as having the feeling of having sand in their eyes all the time.

causes

Dry eyes are a widespread problem that just a few decades ago did not exist on this scale. The causes of dry eyes lie in particular in the changed working conditions: More and more people have to sit in front of the computer all day for professional reasons. You keep staring at one point, putting undue strain on your eyes. Eventually the tear fluid will decrease and the feeling of sand in the eye will increase.

If you don’t act now, you risk permanent damage to your eyes! However, it is not only for professional reasons that more and more people are sitting longer and longer at their PCs. The importance of the internet has increased, particularly among young people and children. Many teenagers spend most of the afternoon in front of the PC chatting and on social networks. So most of the day is spent staring at one point on the computer.

In addition to the computer, the air in the room can also be a cause of dry eyes. Especially when the heating is on in winter, the air in the rooms is often incredibly stuffy and dry: Both promote the syndrome of dry eyes. Various types of allergies can also be a cause of dry eyes.

diseases with this symptom

Course

Dry eyes should definitely be treated, otherwise the course of the disease will continue to worsen. The eyes are very sensitive but are one of our most important organs. While initially only the annoying feeling of sand in the eyes is disturbing, if left untreated, germs can enter dry eyes and visual acuity can be reduced.

complications

Patients often underestimate the danger of dry eyes, but due to the possible complications, dry eyes are a serious disease. The tear film in an eye contains immune defenses and protects against foreign bodies. However, the tear substitutes used by ophthalmologists for therapy do not contain any immune defense substances.

In the case of a dry eye, a deteriorated immune function in the eyes and a susceptibility to eye infections must therefore be expected despite treatment. In addition, dry eyes increase sensitivity to smoke and light . If left untreated, dry eyes can therefore lead to an annoying sensitivity to light, which can even cause eye pain .

In addition, wearing contact lenses can lead to increased evaporation of the tear film and thus contribute to a worsening of the symptoms. According to the current state of research, a dry eye is a slightly chronic inflammation of the surface of the eye. Regular check-ups by an ophthalmologist are important in order to identify and avert possible secondary diseases due to the inflammatory processes at an early stage.

In patients with meibomian gland dysfunction, treating the clogged glands with warm compresses can not only relieve symptoms, but also preserve residual meibomian gland function over the long term.

In the case of severely dry eyes, damage to the cornea can also occur over the long term if left untreated. This damage can be averted by treatment with artificial tears. Treatment by an ophthalmologist is therefore strongly recommended in the case of severe symptoms.

When should you go to the doctor?

Dry eyes can have a variety of causes, so that medical treatment may even be necessary. In most cases, dry eyes become very red. At the same time, the eyes start to burn, so it is recommended to take appropriate eye drops at this point. Such drops are freely available, so no prescription is required.

If there is no significant improvement after using such drops, a doctor should definitely be consulted. Under certain circumstances, there may be an underlying disease behind the dry eyes that urgently requires medical or drug treatment. If there is a stinging in the eye in addition to the dry eyes, then there is a very high probability that there is an infection behind it.

Infection is caused by bacteria that causes redness and severe dryness. If you leave this clinical picture without any treatment, you have to expect a significant worsening of the individual symptoms. Under certain circumstances, pus can even form. The eye can stick with pus fluid, especially in the morning hours. In addition, severe pain is also possible, which urgently requires appropriate treatment. Anyone who resorts to such treatment with anti-inflammatory agents can expect a quick and effective improvement.

Treatment & Prevention

Dry eyes therefore absolutely require targeted treatment. The question of how to treat dry eyes is closely linked to the question of sensible prevention, because the following applies here: good prevention is usually the best treatment. When it comes to treatment, it also depends on the context in which dry eyes occur. If you have dry eyes during the heating period, you should definitely distribute several small bowls of water throughout the rooms. The resulting humidity quickly improves the room climate and can thus reduce the feeling of dry eyes. The water should of course be changed regularly.

You should also make sure that you ventilate well. Stale air promotes dryness in the eyes. In the mornings in particular, you should ventilate quickly at any temperature – drafts should be avoided. The bedrooms in particular must be well ventilated at all times of the year. If the dry eyes improve after the humidity has improved, further treatment is not necessary for the time being.

If dry eyes occur repeatedly at certain times of the year, preferably the spring pollen season, or recur after certain activities, such as eating a certain food, petting an animal, etc., an allergy should be suspected. In the context of emergency aid, it is important to avoid everything that has raised the suspicion of being connected with an allergic reaction. You should also make an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible. This can test whether an allergy is present and what specifically triggers the allergy. Many allergies and their symptoms can also be alleviated with tablets.

If the cause of dry eyes is a constant stay at the PC, you should critically check how much time you really have to be at the computer. People who have to work on the PC for professional reasons and who cannot reduce the amount should pay attention to good room ventilation on the one hand and conscious movement of their eyes on the other.

You have to keep looking away from the PC. It can also be helpful to consciously blink several times. Artificial tear substitutes can also be a solution. Appropriate drops can be purchased on the Internet, in the drugstore and in the pharmacy. If none of this helps, you should definitely have dry eyes checked by a doctor.

Outlook & Forecast

Treating dry eyes is effective. The eyes may need additional moisture supply through contact lenses , a PC workstation, as a result of eye herpes therapy or through dry heating air. This can be guaranteed with artificial tears. The treatment of dry eyes can be carried out several times a day. It prevents any late damage to the eye.

It makes sense to investigate the causes of dry eyes. These should be turned off as far as possible. Warm heating air is easy to change. Instead, warmer pajamas can provide protection from the cold. Long working hours at the PC should be interrupted every hour. This allows the eyes to rest and hydrate through increased blinking. In the case of irritated eyes, the occasional application of eye ointment before going to bed may be advisable.

In most cases, dry eyes are caused by a tear deficiency . However, if other causes have been identified, additional therapeutic measures of a medical nature may be indicated. For example, artificial tears and medically effective eye drops can be prescribed.

The eyes of contact lens wearers are usually dry because too much tear fluid evaporates. Blinking is no longer able to moisten the covered pupil sufficiently. In the case of dry eyes, it is advisable to only wear contact lenses when they are actually needed.

You can do that yourself

In mild cases of dry eyes, even blinking regularly can stimulate the flow of tears . The complaints often have a harmless cause, such as excessive humidity or generally poor indoor air quality. It is usually sufficient to create a pleasant indoor climate with the help of humidifiers or regular ventilation. In addition, the eyes should be protected from drafts and blown air as well as smoke and exhaust fumes.

If you work regularly on the screen, you can relieve your eyes with regular breaks and relaxation exercises . An eyeball massage with the fingertips distributes the tear fluid and helps especially against acute dry eyes. As an alternative, various acupressure grips from Chinese medicine can be used. In the short term, dry eyes can also be relieved by getting enough sleep and using various home remedies. Cucumber and potato masks, among others, have proven effective, as have black tea and fish oil capsules.

Tear substitutes from the pharmacy help against dry eyes in old age . Alternatively, homeopathic preparations such as Arsencium album or Sulfur can be taken. Dry eyes associated with heavy lids and dark circles can be treated with the help of Veratrum album. If these measures do not bring the desired success, a doctor should be consulted.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.