Prevention is essential to apply adequate remedies and prevent chronic
“Dry eye ” syndrome is the situation that occurs when lacrimation is inadequate in quantity or quality. There are various types of dryness: the problem may be temporary or become long-lasting or even chronic.
Dr. Roberto Spolaore, specialist in Ophthalmology in sanisystem centers explains what it is, how to recognize and treat it.
What are the people most exposed to this pathology?
It mainly affects people in old age and can affect up to a third of the elderly population. However, the problem of impaired tear secretion can also be highlighted in young subjects and is often associated with pathological situations related to rheumatic syndrome in the general sense, but can be completely independent of these diseases.
What are the most common symptoms?
Fatigue oculareBruciore to occhiDolore oculareFotofobiaLacrimazioneOcchi arrossatiOpacità cornealePruritoSecchezza oculareSecrezione oculareVisione blurred
The most common symptoms due to dry eye syndrome are itching, burning, irritation and discomfort in the light. A sensation of a foreign body inside the eye may appear, blurred vision, difficulty in opening the eyelid upon awakening, pain and the presence of red eyes. Fatigue or eye fatigue can also be felt, and in some patients, the appearance of mucus inside or around the eye is observed. All these disturbances increase as a result of prolonged visual effort or in particular environmental conditions, such as exposure to wind or heat or stay in dusty, smoky, air-conditioned or heated environments.
In severe cases, the eye is exposed to increased friction due to eyelid movement and a greater risk of infection. In addition, it can degenerate until the appearance of lesions to the external structures of the eye: scarring, neovascularization, infections and ulceration.
What are the causes?
There are forms due to insufficient production of tears, and in this case the lacrimal gland comes into play. A quality deficit is also possible: in this case, the tear evaporates more quickly and leaves the cornea uncovered. Then there are the situations of dryness associated with inflammation (calazi and orzaioli), external factors, such as the ones caused by hyperthyroidism, the eyeball more exposed to the outcomes of aesthetic surgery, such as the formation of eye bags with the eye that remains too exposed.
What’s a tear?
Tears have three basic elements: a prominent watery (liquid) part that moisturizes the eye; a kind of viscous mucus that adheres the tear film and protects the cornea; a lipid (oily) portion that prevents the evaporation of the tear film.
What causes dry eye?
Apart from the problem of excessive evaporation, the dryness can be a side effect of treatments with antihistamines, decongestants, anti-hypertensives, birth control pills, anti-depressants, hormonal replacement therapies, but also systemic diseases such as the syndrome of Syogren, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis and hyperthyroidism, while with respect to risk factors, there is no big difference between males and females. Among the elements that favor the pathology is the excessively dry climate, insufficient environmental humidity and a reduction in winking: in the latter case, those who work at the VDU are more exposed.