Eyes remain moist due to tears produced by the tear glands. Some people do not produce enough tears which causes dry eyes. There are many eye drops available which can be bought without a prescription. This article will tell you more on it.
Eyes need constant moisture and lubrication to function normally. If the eyes are not properly lubricated, there can be consequences which can range from mild to severe. The symptoms for dry eyes are continuous dryness, itching, redness, severe irritation and burning sensation. These symptoms are enough for an ophthalmologist to diagnose the condition. People with this condition often complain of ‘foreign body sensation’ in the eye. It may sometimes cause excessive watering of the eyes. This is due to the dryness which causes the eyes to produce more tears. The doctor may carry out a simple test called ‘Schirmer’s test ‘ to measure the amount of tears in your eyes. A thin-film or strip of filter paper is placed on the edge of your eye to measure the amount of tears.
Dry eyes is caused by many factors like less production of tears and less moisture in the eyes. As we age, production of tears also becomes less. It is seen in both men and women, although women tend to be more affected. This is generally true for women approaching menopause as there is an increase in hormone production. It can also occur as a side effect to medicines such as antidepressants, antihistamines, certain blood pressure medications, Parkinson’s medications and contraceptive pills.
The other causes maybe due to conditions like dry, dusty or windy climate. These climates tend to evaporate tears faster and cause them to lose their effectiveness. It can also occur due to use of air conditioning or dry heaters. These installations can cause the moisture to dry out in the eyes. Staring at the computer or laptop screen without blinking or sewing for long hours can also lead to dry eyes. People using contact lenses also face a problem as the lens tend to absorb the eye moisture and the tear film. This causes the eyes to dry out faster. Insomnia can also cause the problem as the eyes do not receive adequate rest and dry out faster. According to recent research, smoking is another factor, that is responsible for the eye problem.
The treatment of dry eyes depends on the level of the dry eye syndrome. The most common method is to use artificial tears that help to keep the eye lubricated. There is a new treatment available called Restasis eye drops. This cyclosporine in a castor oil base emulsion, helps to increase tear production.
Another treatment is by closing the small channel in the eye which passes into the nose through which tears drain out. Your doctor will close these channels using permanent or temporary plugs so that the artificial tears can last longer and the eyes can conserve their natural tears.
If you use contact lenses, be sure to remove the lenses before using eye drops or artificial tears. Wait for 15 minutes or more before reinserting the lenses. Mild dry eyes can be lubricated by using the contact lens re-wetting drops. It makes the eye feel better but only for some time.
Many over-the-counter eye drops, ointments and medication are available that can be used to stimulate the action of tears and provide temporary relief. There are some that adhere to the eyes. These provide relief for longer periods. Oral capsules are also available that help maintain the tear production and reduces the tear loss.
You can consult your ophthalmologist or the pharmacist regarding the best eye drops for dry eyes. You should drink plenty of water, have a proper diet, take vitamin supplements and use sunglasses when outdoors. Avoid medications that can cause this problem. Take care of your eyes as they are an important part of your body; and as William Shakespeare stated, “Eyes are the window to the soul.”
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only and does not in any way attempt to replace the advice offered by an expert on the subject.