Dry eyes are a disorder that occurs when the eyes don’t produce enough tear fluid or when they dry out far too quickly.Tears consist of:
- Water to moisturize,
- lipids to reduce the evaporation of the water layer,
- mucus to spread fluid,
- special antibodies and proteins to fight infections.
These components are products of special glands located in the area of the eye.
If there is an imbalance in the tear system, a person’s eyes may be dry.
Classification of dry eyes
1) Dry eyes due to decreased lacrimation (underproduction of tear fluid) is a condition in which the lacrimal glands produce tears with a reduced water content.
They can not sufficiently moisturize the surface of the eye.
2) Dry eye due to evaporation (hyperevaporative form) is the result of inflammation of the maibomian glands, which are located in the eyelid edges.
These glands produce lipids or the oil content of tears, which slow down evaporation and stabilize tear fluid.
Dry eye syndrome is a common cause of eye irritation, which mainly affects the elderly.
Dry eyes, called keratitis sicca in the medical term, means reduction in the quality or quantity of tears.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (also called keratitis filiformis) is a term that refers to the dryness of both the cornea and the conjunctiva.
This disease is chronic and occurs bilaterally.
Keratoconjunctivitis sicca may be caused by reduced tear fluid or excessive evaporation.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
Among the symptoms of dry eye one finds:
- Burning of the eyes;
- sensation of sand or foreign bodies in the eye;
- excessive lacrimation after periods of very dry eye;
- thread-pulling fluid loss from the eye;
- red eyes;
- intermittent blurred vision;
- discomfort when wearing contact lenses;
- difficulty with prolonged reading and working on the PC (computer), because the frequency of blinking decreases;
- Photophobia (light intolerance));
- Difficulty opening the eyelids, especially when waking up.
What are the causes of dry eyes?
Dry eye syndrome can have many different causes and risk factors.
Hormones and nervous system Hormones are chemical substances that are produced in the organism and, together with the nervous system
(nerves, brain and spinal cord), play an important role in tear production.
Hormones stimulate tear production.
Changes in hormone levels
- in menopause (when a woman no longer has a menstrual cycle)
- during pregnancy
- when using the contraceptive pill
explain why women are more likely to suffer from dry eye syndrome.
Menopausal women also often notice dry eyes during the night.
The nervous system can trigger an increase in tear production to protect the eyes from potentially harmful substances.
This happens when the eyes are exposed to smoke, for example.
If one suffers from a condition that leads to a change in nerve functioning, this can trigger dry eye syndrome.
People who suffer from anxiety, especially those who have been suffering from it for a long time and are taking tricyclic antidepressants, are significantly more likely to suffer from dry eyes.
Environmental factors can cause eye dryness by causing tears to evaporate. Among these are:
- Dry climate
- Warm breeze
- High altitudes
When performing an activity that requires visual concentration, such as reading, writing or working at the computer, one tends to blink less. This can lead to higher evaporation of tears and dry eye syndrome.
Numerous medications can cause dry eye syndrome, including:
Refractive laser surgery
Some people who have undergone the surgical procedure LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) notice that they suffer from dry eye syndrome for a few weeks after the surgical procedure.
Usually, the symptoms disappear after a few months, but in some cases they can remain.
Sometimes contact lenses cause dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye syndrome occurring at the edge is a disorder in which the quantity and quality of the protective film on the eyes are altered.
Dry eye is usually caused by the contact lenses and the symptoms are burning, itching and the feeling of rubbing of the eyelids.
Usually, a change of contact lens type or limited use can eliminate the symptoms.
Most people with dry eye syndrome have blepharitis, or dysfunction of the meibomian glands (MGD).
Blepharitis can occur at any age and may also be related to the following diseases:
- Seborrheic dermatitis – a common disease of the skin, also known as seborrheic eczema.
- Acne rosacea – a little-known chronic skin disease that mainly affects the face.
Other conditions that can cause dry eye syndrome:
- Contact dermatitis (eczema) – a condition that causes skin inflammation.
- Allergic conjunctivitis – inflammation of the conjunctiva (the transparent layer of cells that covers the white eyeball and the upper layer of the inner eyelids) caused by an allergy.
- Previous traumas (serious injuries) – such as burns or radiation exposure.
- Herpes zoster.
- Bell’s palsy – a condition that causes weakness or paralysis of the muscles of one half of the face.
- Deficiency of vitamin A.
- As you age, you produce less tear fluid.
This explains, in the context of the effects of menopause, why dry eye syndrome often occurs in older women.
- Autoimmune diseases that cause dry eyes.
Sjögren’s syndrome – a disease that causes pronounced dryness of the eyes, mouth and vagina.
This condition can also cause eye dryness during the night and in the morning and can make the eyelids feel as if they are scratching against the cornea.
- Rheumatoid arthritis – a condition associated with pain, swelling and inflammation of the joints. It can affect almost any organ of the body.
- Lupus – a disease in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue, especially the blood vessels in the body.
- Scleroderma – a skin disease that can also affect blood vessels.
Office stay. According to a recent study by “The American Journal of Ophthalmology”, published on a website from July 2013, over 75 percent of women who habitually use a computer at work suffer from dry eye disease (DED = Dry Eye Disease).
Therapy for dry eyes
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic and progressive condition that (depending on the cause) cannot be completely cured.
Certain symptoms such as dryness, itching and burning can be successfully treated. Because dryness of the eyes can have many different causes, different therapeutic approaches can be used.
Eye drops and other lubricants. The ophthalmologist may prescribe an artificial tear fluid. These are oily eye drops that relieve the feeling of dryness. Some of the artificial tears are made to replace certain deficiencies, such as lipids.
If the dryness of the eyes is only mild, a moisturizing solution for contact lenses may be sufficient to make the eyes feel more comfortable. However, the effect is usually limited in time.
Read the description of the drops used carefully or check with the ophthalmologist even before buying an over-the-counter drug.
The ophthalmologist can probably help save a lot of money, because he knows which drugs are most effective and more effective for a longer period of time.
In the case of corneal abrasions (e.g. filamentous keratitis), contact lenses can help, because they cover the cornea, so that the eyelid does not create friction when blinking.
Tear substitutes with hyaluronic acid Hyaluronic acid
is naturally present in the vitreous fluid of the eye. This fluid is used as a lubricant in artificial tears to relieve dry eye syndrome.
It can contain almost 100 times its weight and is used in eye surgery to protect sensitive eye tissue.
LipiFlow® therapy for dysfunction of the meibomian glands
Dysfunction of the meibomian glands (MGD) is usually the main cause of dry eyes.
The meibomian glands release an oily fluid through the excretory ducts at the edge of the eyelids, which mixes with the tear fluid.
The LipiFlow treatment (Tear Science) is an outpatient procedure in which the meibomian glands are opened and cleaned. As a result, they resume their normal secretion.
This treatment is also indicated in patients with excessive evaporation of tear fluid and may be completely sufficient.
The principle of this therapy is the application of heat and pressure to the closed gland areas to free them again.
Closure of the tear dots The doctor may temporarily or permanently insert silicone plugs into the exits of the tear ducts in the corners of the eyes to retain the tears
in the eye instead of draining them. These are silicone, collagen and gelatin plugs that can be used on an outpatient basis in a painless procedure.
Natural remedies for dry eyes
Dry eyes due to environmental influences.
- If the problem is environmental, it is advisable to wear sunglasses outdoors to reduce the influence of sunlight, wind and dust. For this, sunglasses are recommended, which also cover the sides of the eyes.
- Research indicates that cold temperatures can be another environmental cause of dry eyes, so the use of glasses is also recommended in this case.
- In the house, an air purifier can filter dust and other particles out of the air, while a humidifier adds moisture to the air that becomes too dry due to air conditioning and heating.
Nutrition and hydration for dry eyes
3 diets for dry eyes and autoimmune diseases in comparison:
Nutrition after the debt medicine
Doctors recommend special dietary supplements for dry eyes.
Studies have found that remedies containing omega-3 fatty acids can improve the symptoms of dry eyes.
Good sources of omega-3 are cold-water fish such as sardines, cod, herring and salmon.
Some ophthalmologists also recommend flaxseed oil to improve eye dryness.
Vegan diet/raw food diet according to Lezaeta’s
health hygiene and natural medicine
According to this nutritional theory, autoimmune diseases are provoked by the gradual accumulation of toxins.
Toxins are the consequence if the diet has the following components:
- animal proteins
- precooked, processed and transformed food
- (at high temperatures) cooked foods
- Cayenne pepper
A diet that includes animal protein, precooked foods, sweet and incorrect food combinations:
- provokes fermentation and decay processes in the intestine,
- leads to the formation of harmful amines (putrescine, cadaverine, etc.),
- promotes infections.
Those responsible also include medicines.
The human diet should be based on fruit, since our body and digestive system correspond to those of the frucivores (animals that feed solely on fruits).
Vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes and potatoes are foods suitable for humans.
A fasting cure can speed up healing, but there are contraindications:
- extreme weakening due to illness
- Organ transplant
A 2- to 3-day fast can be carried out without outside support, but after 3 days a professional control is necessary.
Blood group diet According to the blood group diet of Dr. D’Adamo/Mozzi, the following foods must be removed from the diet:
- cereals containing gluten
- Milk and dairy products
- Fruit in people of blood type 0
- red meat for blood types A and AB
- fried food
- Sausages and pork
In addition, depending on the blood group, certain foods are allowed to avoid others.
Drinking plenty of water can help
Often, mild dehydration worsens the problems of dry eyes. This is especially true in the warm and dry season.
Drinking more water sometimes reduces symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
Every day, women need at least 2 liters of water and men 2.5 liters to be well hydrated.
Experts agree that about 20 percent of the water the body needs comes from the food we eat. The rest, however, comes from the drinks we consume.
The best choice for drinks is water, fruit juice with 100% fruit content and vegetables.
There are natural eye drops, composed of hyaluronic acid, glycerin and chamomile extract, which effectively and permanently use as lubricants for the eyes, preserve fluid and reduce burning (for example, Fitostill-eye drops).