DRY EYE DISEASE

The symptoms in dry eye disease can be explained by a tear film deficiency and by the irritation of the tissue. Often, the symptoms are rather nonspecific, so the diagnosis can be difficult for both patient and doctor:

The causes of a dry eye can be very different

  • A lack of water due to low production of aqueous tears by the lacrimal gland is only rarely the first cause of a dry eye
  • In most patients, oil deficiency on the tear film causes a dry eye
  • The eyelid blink is of great importance for the spreading of the tears into the tear film on the ocular surface
    • to keep the surface moist and healthy
    • to allow perfect visual acuity
  • If the regular blink is disturbed, the ocular surface health is endangered and the vision becomes blurry
    • during concentrated visual work (eg screen work, driving a car, television) with rare blinking of the eyelids, the tear film is not renewed sufficiently often - it ruptures and the tissue becomes dry
    • during incomplete blinks / nervous blinking, the eyelids are not fully closed and thus the tear film is not completely renewed - the lower part of the cornea remains dry, which leads to tissue damage
  • Many negative influence factors ( risk factors ) have a harmful influence and favor a dry eye, eg:
      • dehydrating influences (draft, wind, dry air, air conditioners, blowers)
      • Hormones (relative lack of male hormones and excess of female hormones)
        • this also applies to medications such as anti-androgens and estrogen replacement therapy
      • Aging processes with advancing age
      • Excessive cornification of the skin
      • Various medications can promote a dry eye  
        • eg: beta-blockers for high blood pressure and anti-histamines for allergies 
    • Many negative factors in office work can lead to the so-called " office eye ".
      • This describes concentrated visual work with a rare blinking in a dry air, e.g due to air conditioning, often with mental stress, perhaps with additional smoking, irregular drinking or with drinks that are more likely to lead to water loss, such as coffee and tea. 

    Dry Eye Disease tends to  get worse  without adequate treatment

    Many things are helpful in the treatment of dry eye :

    • Avoiding dehydrating influences such as draft and blowers
    • Sufficient drinking can already be a simple and effective preventive measure
    • regular complete eyelid blinks and short breaks, with blink exercises during concentrated visual work (computer screen, driving a car, etc.). In the Blink exercises, the eyes are vigorously closed and reopened several times to renew the tear film and force oil from the meibomian glands onto the eyelid margin and onto the tear film.
    • own treatment of the clogged meibomian glands in the eyelids by warming and eyelid massage
    • aqueous tear supplements and oil supplements, as drops or as liposomal spray
    • in severe cases also specific medications from the ophthalmologist, if it has already come to a chronic inflammation of the eyes