Dry Eye Syndrome from Sunday Times Sri Lanka

Written by on December 22, 2008 in dry eye, Ocular Rosacea with 0 Comments

The Sunday Times in Colombo has a recent article devoted to Dry Eye Syndrome titled Looking through a dry lens, an interview with Consultant Ophthalmologist Dr. Charith Fonseka from the Eye Hospital in Colombo.

"Dry eye syndrome is usually due to a problem with the quantity and/or quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes," he says.

Bacteria due to an infection, blepharitis, along the eyelids or eyelashes could also breakdown the oil which in turn may result in an inadequate quantity of oil being present.

Aqueous tear deficiency could be caused by either poor production — due to age, hormonal changes or various autoimmune diseases such as primary Sjogren Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus — or excessive evaporation – due to an insufficient overlying lipid layer.

What of treatment?

Everyone’s needs are a little different, says Dr. Fonseka, with many finding relief simply by using artificial tears regularly. Preservative-free tears are recommended as they are the most soothing and have fewer additives that could be potential irritants.

Artificial tears and lubricating eye-drops and gels, available over-the-counter provide more moisture and lubrication for the surface of the eye. What a person needs to use will depend on what provides the best relief to that person.

Lubricating eye ointments could also be used. As they are thicker than drops and gels, they may provide relief longer but could also blur the vision if used during the day. "That’s why they are recommended for use overnight while you sleep," he says.

Urging that it is important to treat dry eyes not only for comfort but also to maintain a healthy cornea, he says, hot compresses and eyelid scrubs/massages with baby shampoo help provide a thicker, more stable lipid layer. Used against meibomian gland dysfunction, rosacea or blepharitis, the heat from the compresses would warm up the oil in the glands, making it flow easily. "Massaging helps get the oil out of the glands and the cleaning process decreases the number of bacteria that breakdown the oil."

Pointing out that simple lifestyle changes can significantly improve dry-eye irritation, Dr. Fonseka says drink eight to 10 glasses of water everyday to keep the body hydrated and flush out the impurities. Blink frequently, especially when reading or watching TV and avoid rubbing the eyes which would worsen the irritation.

If your eyes are dry mainly while watching TV or reading, take frequent breaks, suggests Dr. Fonseka, to allow your eyes to rest and become moist. And his advice: Close your eyes for 10 seconds every 5-10 minutes and also blink to improve eye comfort.

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Read more about: dry eye, Ocular Rosacea

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About the Author: David Pascoe started the Rosacea Support Group in October 1998. .

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