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Updated on January 26, 2021

Dry Eye Symptoms

Your eyes are kept moist by tears which coat your eyes to allow you to see and focus clearly as well as making them feel comfortable and protected against any harsh weather, dust or bacteria because of the anti-bacterial properties inside the tear film.

The tear film is made of a 3 layer sandwich which coats your eye;

  • Inner mucin layer (secreted by the mucin cells)
  • Middle aqueous layer (secreted by the lacrimal and tear glands)
  • Outer lipid layer (secreted by the Meibomian glands in the eyelid)

Dry Eye Symptoms

Any disturbance to this tear film layer will result in dry eye symptoms;

  • Intermittent blurring of vision (which may improve after blinking)
  • Gritty sensation
  • Discomfort and/or pain especially on waking
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Red and swollen eyes
  • Prone to recurrent eye infection or corneal erosion

Causes

Click to view Dr Tsai video on Treatment of Dry Eyes

Medication

  • Lubricant eye drops which can be in bottle or vials (preservative-free) need to be applied on a regular basis (like watering a plant) to prevent the cornea from getting dry.  The frequency depends on the severity of your dryness which can vary from twice a day to every 1-2 hours
  • Lubricant eye ointment should be applied at night if your dry eye symptoms are severe or if your eyelids cannot close completely or if you have restless sleep patterns
  • Restasis eye drops (a cyclosporin medication) can help increase some tear production in certain types of dry eyes

Prevention Do’s and Don’t’s

DO wear sunglasses when out in sunny or windy places

DO apply lubricants regularly (even when you don’t feel dry) if you have dry eye risk factors

DO take regular rests when working with a computer for long periods. Remember the 20-20-20 RULE.  Rest your eyes by looking at objects 20 feet away for 20 seconds after 20 minutes of intense concentration

DO stay hydrated and take high water fruits such as water melon or papaya

DO NOT sleep directly under the fan or air-conditioner

DO NOT stay too long in a smoky or dusty environment

DO NOT over wear your contact lens or on board air planes

Consult an eye doctor if you have recurrent dry or red eyes

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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