The increasing prevalence of dry eye syndrome is attributed to the advancement of technology and the widespread use of 3C products.
Feeling dry and fatigued eyes? Unsure if it’s dry eye syndrome? Wondering whether to buy over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops for relief, or if you should seek medical treatment promptly? What are the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, and how should you care for your eyes? Let’s explore these questions one by one.
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, is a condition where there is an imbalance in the secretion of tears from the lacrimal glands. This leads to insufficient tears or rapid evaporation of tears, resulting in inflammation due to the lack of moisture on the surface of the eyes. It is a common condition seen in ophthalmology clinics.
- Lipid layer: The outermost layer of the tear film, composed of oils. It reduces or delays tear evaporation, increasing hydration.
- Aqueous layer: The middle layer of the tear film, consisting of water. It washes away and removes foreign substances or irritants from the surface of the eye.
- Mucin layer: The innermost layer of the tear film, composed of mucus. It helps tears adhere to the surface of the eye.
Analyzing the 5 Major Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
Constant Use of 3C Devices
Extended periods of staring at computer, tablet, or phone screens can lead to reduced blinking frequency, lowering tear secretion.
Spending extended periods in dry air from air-conditioning or heating systems. Air pollution, particularly PM2.5 particulate matter, can block tear glands, hindering smooth tear production.
Long-term use of contact lenses. Prolonged mental stress can cause a decrease in tear quality.
Age and Diseases
Advanced age can lead to decreased tear gland function, resulting in insufficient tears. Diseases such as autoimmune conditions, endocrine abnormalities, lacrimal gland tumors, infectious conjunctivitis, facial nerve paralysis, thyroid eye diseases, and eyelid inflammation can all trigger dry eye syndrome.
Long-term use of specific medications, such as antihypertensives, antihistamines, oral contraceptives, antidepressants, antipsychotics, etc., can cause inadequate tear secretion, leading to dry eye syndrome.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome
The typical symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
- Dry, red, itchy, and stinging eyes
- Sensitivity to bright light and easy fatigue of the eyes
- A sensation of a foreign object in the eyes
- Increased eye discharge and more eye crusts
- Heavy eyelids and blurred vision
- Excessive tearing after the eyes are dry
Three Categories of Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment
Mild Dry Eye Syndrome
- Use artificial tears for the eyes.
- Apply a warm compress eye mask. Moderate heat helps relax the muscles around the eyes, relieving eye fatigue caused by excessive congestion of the ciliary muscles.
- Supplement with high-quality fats such as Omega-3 fish oil, flaxseed oil, etc. Increase the protective effect of the lipid layer of the tear film and alleviate inflammation caused by dry eyes.
Moderate Dry Eye Syndrome
- Use artificial tears (preferably preservative-free artificial tears) and anti-inflammatory eye drops.
- Oral medications to increase tear production and reduce inflammation.
Severe Dry Eye Syndrome
- Surgical procedures: eyelid closure surgery, permanent punctal occlusion.
Do not self-administer over-the-counter drugs, as some medications can reduce corneal sensitivity with long-term use, leading to corneal keratinization.
Eye Moisturizing Methods and Precautions for Dry Eyes
General lifestyle habits for eye care and precautions are as follows:
- Maintain a regular daily routine, get enough sleep, and avoid staying up late.
- Have a balanced diet, eat vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins A, C, and E, and reduce the consumption of fried foods.
- Consume foods rich in Omega-3 or nutritional supplements.
- Reduce prolonged screen time, allow your eyes to rest appropriately; take a break every 1 hour, rest for 5-10 minutes to avoid eye strain.
- Pay attention to blinking frequency; the average is about 15-20 times per minute.
- Avoid direct airflow from air conditioning or heating vents indoors.
- When washing your face, pay attention to cleaning the eyelids and eyelashes. Warm compress with a hot towel can alleviate fatigue and increase tear production.
- Avoid prolonged wearing of contact lenses; remove them immediately if discomfort occurs.
- Regular eye check-ups.
Dry eye syndrome is a modern civilization disease. Pay attention to eye care in daily life. If you suspect you have dry eye syndrome, be sure to visit a hospital for an eye examination. Avoid self-administering medication to prevent unnecessary complications.