Dry eye is a disease that occurs when the eyes do not produce enough tears or they evaporate very quickly because the sebaceous glands are blocked or do not function properly.
Tears are formed by:
- Water to give moisture,
- Lipids to reduce evaporation of the aqueous layer,
- Mucus to spread the liquid,
- Antibodies and special proteins to fight infection.
These components are produced by special glands located around the eyes.
When there is an imbalance in the system, a person may have dry eyes.
Classification of dry eye type
- The dry eye by aqueous deficiency is a disease in which the lacrimal glands produce tears with low water component.
This is not enough to keep the surface of the eye hydrated.
- The dry eye by evaporation of the tear film is the result of inflammation of the meibomian gland located along the eyelids.
These glands produce lipids or the oily part of tears that slows evaporation and keeps tears stable.
- The dry eye syndrome is a common cause of eye irritation that affects mainly older people.
- Dry eyes are also described by the term medical keratoconjunctivitis siccawhich means decrease in quality or quantity of tears.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (also called filamentous keratitis) is a term referring to dryness of the cornea and conjunctiva.
This disease is chronic and bilateral.
The cause of keratoconjunctivitis can be reduced lacrimation or excessive evaporation.
What are the symptoms of dry eyes?
Among the symptoms of dry eyes are:
- Burning in the eyes ;
- The sensation of sand or a foreign body in the eye;
- Episodes of excessive tearing after periods of very dry eye;
- A sticky fluid leakage from the eye;
- Red eyes ;
- Episodes of blurred vision;
- Discomfort with contact lenses;
- Decrease tolerance for reading and working on the PC because the blinking frequency is reduced;
- Photophobia (light intolerance);
- Difficulty opening eyelids, especially when waking up;
- Night vision reduced or less in focus;
- Difficulty blinking.
What causes dry eye?
Dry eye syndrome can have many different causes and risk factors.
Hormones and the Nervous System
Hormones are chemicals produced by the body that, along with the nervous system (nerves, brain and spinal cord), play an important role in the production of tears.
Hormones stimulate the production of tears.
Changes in hormone levels occurring in women:
- During the menopause (when the woman no longer has the cycle ),
- While taking the contraceptive pill
may explain why they are more likely to have dry eye syndrome.
Women at menopause often notice dry eyes even at night.
The nervous system can cause an increase in tear production to protect the eyes from potentially harmful substances.
This is because, for example, the eyes are exposed to smoke.
A disease that causes changes in nerve function can cause dry eye syndrome.
People who suffer from anxiety , especially those who have suffered from this disorder for a long time and take tricyclic antidepressants, are more likely to have dry eyes.
factors can cause dry eyes, causing tear evaporation.
Among them are:
- Dry weather,
- Hot air blowing,
- High altitude,
When the subject performs an activity that requires concentration, such as reading, writing, or working on the computer, it tends to blink less frequently. This can cause tears evaporation and dry eye syndrome.
Many medications can cause dry eye syndrome, among which are:
- Antihistamines ,
Laser refractive surgery for dry eye
Some people who had LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) had dry eye syndrome for several weeks after surgery.
The symptoms usually go away after a few months, but in some cases they may remain.
Sometimes contact lenses irritate the eyes and cause dry eye syndrome.
Marginal dry eye is a disorder in which the quality and amount of protective film of the eye is altered.
Dry eye is usually caused by contact lenses and the symptoms are burning, itchingand the feeling of friction of the eyelids.
Switching to a different type of lens or limiting use usually helps to resolve the symptoms.
Most people with dry eye syndrome have blepharitis or a dysfunction of the Meibomius glands (DGM).
Blepharitis can occur at any age and can be linked to the following diseases:
- Seborrheic dermatitis – a common skin disease that is also called seborrheic eczema.
- Acne Rosacea – a chronic but still poorly understood skin condition that mainly affects the face.
Other diseases that can cause dry eye syndrome are:
- Contact dermatitis ( eczema) – a disease that causes inflammation of the skin.
- Allergic conjunctivitis – inflammation of the conjunctiva (a transparent layer of cells covering the white part of the eyeball and the inner surface of the eyelids) caused by an allergy.
- Previous injuries (serious injuries) – such as burns or radiation exposure.
- Bell’s palsy, a condition that causes muscle weakness or paralysis on one side of the face.
- Vitamin A Deficiency.
- Aging. When we grow older, we produce fewer tears.
This, combined with the effects of menopause , explains why dry eye syndrome is common among older women.
- Autoimmune diseases that can cause dry eye:
- Sjögren’s Syndrome – a disease that causes excessive dryness of the eyes, mouth and vagina .
This disease can cause dry eyes, also at night, and in the morning the person may have the sensation that the eyelids graze against the cornea.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – a disease that causes pain , swelling and inflammation of the joints, can affect any organ in the body.
- Lupus – a disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissues, especially the blood vessels of the body.
- Scleroderma – a skin disease that can also affect blood vessels.
- Sjögren’s Syndrome – a disease that causes excessive dryness of the eyes, mouth and vagina .
- Certain medications, including antihistamines, antidepressants, beta-blockers and oral contraceptives, may decrease tear production.
- Office. More than 75 percent of women who routinely use a computer at work may suffer from dry eye, according to a new study published in The American Journal of Ophthalmology in July 2013.
Treatment for dry eyes
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and progressive disease that can not be completely cured (depending on the cause).
Certain symptoms such as dryness, itching and burning can be controlled. Since dry eyes can be caused by many different causes, different therapeutic approaches are used.
Eye drops and other lubricants. The ophthalmologist may prescribe artificial tears, that is, lubricating eye drops that serve to alleviate the sensation of dryness.
Some artificial tears are produced to compensate for specific deficiencies, such as lack of lipids.
An option for the treatment of dry eye is called SYSTANE®, a gel with a lubricant (hydroxypropyl). The gel is placed inside the lower eyelid, where it continually releases artificial tears to the eyes during the day.
If dryness of the eye is mild, moisturizing contact lens solutions may be enough to make the eyes feel better, but the effect is usually temporary.
It is important to read the label carefully before using eye drops or check with your ophthalmologist before buying a prescription-free eye drop.
Probably, the ophthalmologist’s advice can allow a great saving of money because he knows which medicines are most effective and long lasting.
Patients suffering from corneal abrasions (eg filamentous keratitis) may benefit from the use of contact lenses that cover the cornea and avoid eyelid friction when eyes blink.
Artificial tears based on hyaluronic acid Hyaluronic
acid is found naturally in the vitreous fluid of the eyes. This substance is used in artificial tears as a lubricant to relieve the symptoms of dry eyes.
It can retain an amount of water equal to about 100 times its weight and is used in ophthalmic surgery to protect the sensitive tissues of the eye.
LipiFlow® Treatment for Meibomian Gland
Dysfunction Meibomius gland dysfunction (MGD) is often the leading cause of dry eye.
The meibomian glands secrete the lipid component of the tear film through ducts that open at the edge of the eyelid.
The LipiFlow (Tear Science) treatment is an office procedure that opens and cleans the blocked meibomian glands, thereby restoring normal fluid secretion.
This treatment is also indicated for patients with excessive tear evaporation and may be definitive.
The principle of this therapy is the application of heat and pressure on the blocked area to release it.
Occlusion of the tear dots
Your doctor may insert temporary or permanent silicone buffers into the eyelid tears drainage conduits to keep the tears in your eye, rather than absorbing the liquid.
They are silicone, collagen and gelatin caps that can be inserted in the office with a painless procedure.
Natural Remedies for Dry Eyes
Dry eye caused by the environment
- If the problem is environmental, it is advised to wear sunglasses when outdoors to reduce exposure to sun, wind and dust.
We recommend the models of sunglasses that also cover the sides of the eyes.
- Research suggests that cold temperatures can be another cause of dry eyes; so it is better to wear the glasses.
- Inside a building, an air purifying filter can filter out dust and other particles from the air, while a humidifier adds moisture to the air that is too dry because of the air-conditioning or heating.
Feeding and moisturizing for dry eye
Comparison between three types of diet for dry eye and autoimmune diseases:
Food according to conventional medicine
Doctors recommend special supplements for dry eyes.
Studies have noted that supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the symptoms of dry eye.
Good sources of omega-3s include cold water fish such as sardines, cod, herring and salmon.
Some ophthalmologists also recommend flaxseed oil to relieve dry eye.
Vegan / Crudivorous diet advised by hygiene and natural medicine of Lezaeta
According to this type of diet, autoimmune diseases are caused by the accumulation of toxins over time.
Toxins are the consequence of eating which contains:
- Animal proteins,
- Foods, pre-cooked, prepared or preserved,
- Cooked foods, especially at high temperatures,
- Red pepper.
Food that includes animal proteins, pre-cooked foods, sweets and incorrect food combinations:
- Causes fermentation and intestinal putrefaction,
- Causes the formation of harmful amines (putrescina, cadaverina, etc.),
- Promotes infections.
Among those in charge are also the medicines.
The human diet should be based on fruits given that our body and digestive system are the same as frugivores (animals that eat fruits).
Other foods suitable for humans are vegetables, nuts and seeds, vegetables and potatoes.
The fasting can accelerate healing, but there are contraindications:
- Excessive weakness caused by illness,
- Organ transplantation,
A fast fast of 2/3 days can be done without assistance, but after 3 days it is necessary the control of specialized medical personnel.
Blood Type Diet
The foods that should be excluded according to Dr. D’Adamo / Mozzi’s blood type diet are:
- Cereals with gluten
- Milk and dairy products
- Fruits, if the person is a group 0
- Red meat for groups A and AB
- Fried foods
- Sausages and pork.
In addition to these, depending on the blood group, there are foods allowed and others that should be avoided.
Drinking lots of water may help
A mild dehydration often aggravates the dry eye problem. This is especially true in the hot and dry season.
Drinking more water sometimes reduces the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
Every day, women need at least 2 liters of water and men need at least 2.5 liters to stay hydrated.
Experts agree that about 20 percent of the water the body needs comes from the food we eat, while the rest comes from the liquids we drink.
The best choices are water and fruit juices with 100% fruit and vegetable.
There are natural eye drops made up of hyaluronic acid, glycerin and chamomile extract that help to effectively and lastingly lubricate the eyes to retain fluids and reduce burning.