Dry Eyes

Dry Eyes

Dry Eye refers to a condition that results due to inadequate or ineffective wetting and lubrication of the eye. It primarily occurs due to reduction in quality or quantity of the tears and tear film. With increase in the use of computers, this condition is becoming more prevalent and is known by the name of Computer Vision Syndrome

What are the symptoms of Dry Eye?
Dry eye commonly presents as the following problems :

  • Burning sensation in the eyes
  • Grittiness & foreign body like feeling in the eye
  • Irritation in the form of itching & stinging
  • Redness of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Decreased tolerance to contact lenses
  • Blurred vision that improves on blinking
  • Excess watering of the eye
  • Mucus discharge from the eye
  • Increased eye discomfort on reading, watching TV, sewing, working on a computer etc.
Are there any known causes for Dry Eye?
Causes for dry eye can be broadly categorised as follows:
  • Natural Ageing Process - as we grow older, there is a reduction in the production of natural tears and their effectiveness.
  • Environmental Conditions - such as hot, dry or windy climate, air pollution, air conditioning, dusty or smoky atmosphere, over heated rooms etc.
  • Occupational - working on computers for long periods of time, results in less blinking thus leading to eye strain and dry eye.
  • Systemic Diseases - such as Sjogren's Syndrome, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Sclerosis, Thyroid conditions, Steven Johnson Syndrome.
  • Hormonal Changes - like during menopause.
  • Medication Side Effects - diuretics, antihistamines, anti depressants, antimuscarinics are known to cause dry eye.
  • Vitamin A Deficiency
  • Prolonged Contact Lens use
  • Radiation Therapy of the head and neck
  • Refractive Eye Surgery such as LASIK and PRK
  • Eye Trauma
  • Frequent Air Travel
  • Infections and certain eye diseases such as Blepharitis.
  • Personal habits such as smoking, reduced blinking thus leading to excess tear evaporation etc.
  • Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD)
What is Meibomian Gland dysfunction?
MGD occurs when the tiny Meibomian glands in eyelids become blocked and are unable to secrete lipid layer of the tear film - a thin layer that covers the outer surface of the tear film and prevents its evaporation. Eventually, if a Meibomian gland stays plugged up for long enough, it may die off, and symptoms will grow even worse. Anyone can get MGD, but some are more prone for it than others. Contact lens wearers, heavy users of personal electronic devices are at higher risk because of much lower blink rate. Postmenopausal women are also at higher risk for MGD

How is MGD diagnosed?
A thorough clinical examination with the help of some special tests to evaluate the Ocular Surface and Tear Film and Meibography (photography of Meibomian Glands) can help the doctor diagnose and assess the severity of MGD. This helps in customizing the treatment to the exact disease process and maximizing benefits of the treatment.

What is the management of dry eye?
  • Avoid being in dry atmosphere for long periods of time. If you have to, use a humidifier.
  • Avoid direct blast of heaters and air conditioners at face level.
  • Sit away from direct heat such as furnace fires, gas etc.
  • Use lubricating eye drops such as artificial tears.
  • Make a conscious effort to blink regularly with full lid closure and not 'half blinks'
  • Avoid smoky atmosphere
  • Drink 8-10 glasses of water daily
  • Avoid smoking
  • Use wrap around glasses and sunglasses when outdoors.
  • In order to relieve acute episodes, use periodic cold, moist compresses to decrease burning & itching.
  • In MGD or Meibomian Gland Disease, the management is to try to clear the blockage by doing hot fomentation and lid massage. Some special Eye Pads may be used to facilitate adequate hot fomentation of the eyes. Often this home treatment is not effective enough and these patietns may need treatment with the help of some special devices like LipiFlow.
How LipiFlow treatment performed?
LipiFlow treatment an out-patient procedure, designed to treat the root cause of Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) in a very controlled scientific manner. After applying the numbing drops, a special sterile single-use applicator is applied to each of the eyes. This applicator is dome shaped and covers the cornea and protects the eyes. The outer surface of the dome heats the inner part of the eyelid (tarsal plate which holds meibomian glands) to a pre-determined and controlled temperature. After this a programmed squeezing massage called Vector Thermal Pulsation is applied to the lids between the two plates of the applicator. This helps in melting the material blocking the glands and squeezing it out in a very controlled manner. This treatment requires only one sitting. This 12 minutes procedure is very effective in opening up the blockages and giving significant relief from the symptoms of MGD and dry eyes and in preventing further damage to meibomian glands.

What is the effect of computers on the eye? Eye strain has been reported with most extensive computer users. Also referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome or Computer Stress Syndrome, it involves the manifestation of a variety of symptoms such as eye strain, headache, and some times it may be indicated by indirect symptoms such as neck, shoulder back and wrist pains, general fatigue and decreased visual efficiency.

Important Dos and Don'ts of using computers.
  • Keep a minimum distance of 25 inches between the computer screen and the eye, preferably more.
  • The monitor top should be tilted away from the eyes.
  • Use dark letters on a light background Keep the screen below the horizontal eye level. Always use a chair with arms. Tilting the head forward causes less fatigue than the head-erect posture.
  • Use indirect lighting suspended from the ceiling. Use curtains to avoid reflection due to outside light.
  • Avoid direct flow of air on your eyes. Low humidity or fumes also can lead to dry eyes.
  • Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes. Blink regularly. Close the eyelids and roll the eyes behind the closed lids clockwise and anticlockwise.
  • Consult a doctor immediately if you have any problem.


Synergy Eye Care is well equipped and its doctors are well experienced in treating this disease using required procedures and /or surgeries with good results.


Disclaimer: Information published here is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace medical advice. If you suspect that you have a health problem, please consult your doctor immediately

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