Dry eyes, more commonly known as dry eye syndrome (DES), is a widespread condition affecting approximately 100 million people on a global scale. In the United Kingdom, approximately 15% of the people are aged between 25 and 50; however, the percentage does increase dramatically as a person reaches the age of 65 by 5%. The overall cause of dry eye syndrome is a general lack of tears within the individual. In previous years, this condition was irreversible, but due to modern day research, it is now possible to treat the syndrome.
What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Eye Syndrome?
To gain a proper understanding of DES, it is important to have an awareness of the symptoms. The majority of individuals affected by this condition report a general irritation and, in some cases, pain in the eye. It is also common for the eyes to become highly sensitive to light and for people to feel as if an object is “stuck” in the eye. In the most severe of cases, DES can affect the quality of a person’s vision.
What Are The Different Dry Eye Cures?
1. Topical Dry Eye Treatments
Modern science has allowed experimental research into various dry eye cures. One common dry eye cure is the use of artificial tear drops. The drops assist in lubricating the surface of the cornea and relieving symptoms of dryness. This is one of the most common treatments due to the ready availability of tear drop formulas as over-the-counter items.
Further topical DES treatments include temporary and permanent punctual occlusion. This involves the medical professional inserting a small plug into the tear duct and slowing tear drainage from the eyes. By slowing the rate of tear drainage, it is possible to leave the tears on the eyes for a longer period; thereby, relieving DES.
2. Surgical Treatments
Potentially the most well known of all DES surgical treatments is intensely pulsed light therapy. This dry eye cure is utilised to unplug the oil glands lining the eyelid. The intense light serves as a form of warm compress loosening the hardened oil within the glands, which improves the “wetting” of the eye’s surface. It is usually recommended that three treatments be completed before benefits are noticed.
Another surgical treatment for DES is cautery surgery. This involves the permanent closure of the tear duct canals and should only be used in the most severe cases. The closure of the canals allows tears to remain on the eyes for long periods and can relieve symptoms of DES.