The most beautiful gift which we possess is our EYES
Eyes look wet and watery and it’s a natural thing but sometimes they may look dry, in some cases.
Eyes produce tears all the time, whenever we yawn or when we are emotional. Healthy eyes are constantly covered with a fluid, known as a Tear film. It is designed to remain stable between each blink. This prevents the eyes from becoming dry and enables clear vision.
Tears are composed of water for moisture, lipid for lubrication, mucus for even spreading, antibodies and special proteins to protect against infection.
Sometimes due to less moisture in the eyes patients experience itching, redness, blurry vision, light sensitivity and feeling like there’s something in the eyes.
In a survey conducted in India, by IJO nearby 30 to 35% of people suffer from dry eyes. The reasons behind it are -
1) Age factor, if above 50 years of age.
2) Usage of electronic gadgets / spending too much time on screen.
3) Natural aging process, especially menopause.
4) If the person is on medication for hypertension, depression, diabetes, arthritis, hypothyroidism.
5) If the patient has undergone Lasik surgery or if the person is using a contact lens.
All these factors lead to or increase the chances of developing dry eyes. Even the air blowing from Air-conditioners or heaters could dry out your tear film.
The normal protective mechanism of eyes is that there is a tear film that protects the eyes and the blinking mechanism helps in maintaining the moisture of the eyes.
This tear film is made up of three layers, lipid, water, and mucus. Problems with any of these can lead to dry eye symptoms.
The top lipid layer comes from the edges of the eyelids, where the meibomian glands produce lipids, or fatty oils. This lipid layer helps in smoothing the tear surface and slows down the rate of evaporation.
Inflammation along the edge of the eyelids and some other skin disorders, can cause the meibomian glands to become blocked, making dry eyes more likely.
To treat dry eyes, lubricating eye drops can be used and they are easily available in the market. The preservatives used in eye drops cause irritation in some patients, in that case preservative free eye drops are also available in the market and can be used.
If this line of treatment doesn’t make any difference or give any relief to the patients, the next line of treatment is planned wherein Punctal Plugs, a type of stopper are used to block the nasolacrimal duct. This helps in keeping the eyes moist by maintaining the tears.
The next treatment given to patients is Lipiflow or IPL – INTENSE PULSE LIGHT THERAPY where the meibomian glands are activated which increases the oil secretion. Eye Masks are also available which helps in relieving the symptoms of dry eyes.
As rightly said, eyes have to be protected from external factors like dust particles, climatic changes and any other untoward incident happening which may cause injury to the eye. As a preventive measure, always wear protective glasses while going out and avoid exposure to harmful rays coming from the sun and screen lights.
Always keep hydrated by drinking 7-8 glasses of water and have a balanced and nutritious diet which includes essential vitamins, minerals and omega 3 fatty acids. Having a good and sound sleep of 6-8 hours also helps in avoiding the evaporation of tears.
So taking care of eyes is very important as they are the most precious and beautiful gift we have with us.
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