Eyes are the window to the outer world. They are one of the most delicate organs of the body. It is of utmost importance to take care of them as they have to go through a lot of stress.
Symptoms & Treatments For Dry Eyes
Besides having common difficulties in vision, a dry eye is another complaint. Staring for long hours at the computer screen without blinking, allergies or medications, anything can be the cause, age being one more. Using eye drops can bring some relief.
What Is A Dry Eye & Its Symptoms?
A dry eye is a condition where the tears fail to lubricate the eyes sufficiently due to several factors. It could be because of inadequate or unstable tears. Sometimes the eyes can produce poor quality tears that are not enough to keep the eyes moist. As a result, the eyes feel a burning sensation and the surface of the eye gets damaged due to inflammation. The eye feels irritated.
A few symptoms can tell whether you are suffering from a dry eye or not.
- Redness of the eye
- Burning or stinging sensation making the eyes feel uncomfortable
- Formation of mucus in and around the eyes
- Blurred vision
- Irritation of eyes causing watery eyes
- Light sensitivity and difficulty in night driving
- Difficulty in wearing contact lenses
Treatment Through Eye Drops
Eye drops are a soothing way to overcome the difficulties of a dry eye. These drops can be easily purchased from stores if the situation is not that severe. But in case of a serious condition, only a prescribed drop is recommended. Also, most people can be sensitive to certain preservatives used. Hence, choosing the correct eye drop is important.
Treatment with prescribed eye drops is suggested to those who have severe problems with the eye. They are only given to patients with serious redness or inflammation caused by a condition termed as keratoconjunctivitis sicca or dry eye syndrome. A common eye drop used in this situation is Cyclosporine. However, many of these prescribed teardrops like Eye Relief, Hypo Tears and Soothe Long Lasting usually contain preservatives that can worsen the conditions of chronic dry eye syndrome.
Sometimes, they may contain antihistamines that reduce the redness of the eyes but again can have other side effects like eye pain, itching, swelling around the eyes, and problems with vision. In case of any of these symptoms, one should discontinue using the drop and immediately consult the doctor.
There are few eye drops that are safer but expensive, as they contain no preservative. These do not come in the usual eye drop bottle but in single-use vials. GenTeal, Severe Dry Eye, Thera Tear, Systane Ultra and Refresh Celluvisc are some of the non-preservative eye drops.
Sometimes, patients can also be recommended drops containing oils if the dryness in the eye is a result of a reduced oil layer in the tear. For instance, rosacea of the eye can lead to lesser oil production in the eyes. Drops like Systane Balance, Sooth XP, and Refresh Optive Advanced are some of the options
The other type of drops that can be used for milder cases are the OTC drops or artificial tears as they are generally called. These drops help in keeping the eyes moist and are available in the markets without any prescription. If one feels irritation of the eyes, then he can easily purchase one to relieve the uncomfortable eyes. They are like a one-go solution for your dry eyes.
These drops are usually made to mimic the real tears and hence, contain a list of ingredients like lubricants (humectants) to keep the eyes moist, electrolytes (potassium and sodium) that helps to cure the damaged eye surfaces, guar gum which does not let the eyes dry out quickly and preservatives to prevent bacterial growths.
These drops are available as ointments, gels or eye drops. The gels and ointments are used as overnight treatments as they stay for a longer time. Again, precaution should be taken so as to see what preservatives are added in the drops. Tetrahydrazoline drops contain preservatives like benzalkonium chloride, which can cause allergic reactions.
Dry eyes should be taken seriously. Just taking the redness out of the eyes is not the only concern. Also by paying attention to the situations that might cause it is important to prevent such occurrences. Eye drops can surely help in treating dry eyes, but knowing the cause for dry eyes is necessary for appropriate treatment. In case of any eye irritation, it is best to consult an ophthalmologist and give back the eyes its much-needed comfort.