Dry Eye and symptoms

Knowledge Sharing

Dry eye, also known as dry eye disease, dry eye syndrome or keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), is one of the most frequent reasons people see an ophthalmologist. The Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society (TFOS) defines dry eye as a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface characterised by loss of tear film homeostasis with ocular symptoms in which tear film instability and hyperosmolarity, inflammation, ocular surface damage and neurosensory abnormalities all have a causal effect.

From an epidemiological perspective, the prevalence of dryness varies according to several diagnostic criteria and ranges from 5 to 50%. In general, a higher prevalence is recorded in women than in men, in Asian populations rather than in white populations. This prevalence also varies proportionally to age. 

On the clinical level, dry eye is divided into two clinical subtypes, including aqueous deficient dry eye and evaporative dry eye. The first is due to inadequate tear production by the lacrimal glands and the second is caused by rapid evaporation of tears produced by the lacrimal glands in the eye. In both cases, the pathogenicity of the disease includes tear film hyperosmolarity and inflammation of the ocular surface and lacrimal glands. This leads to various symptoms including:

  • Red eyes
  • Burning sensation
  • Eye pain
  • Tingling
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Pruritus
  • Photophobia

There are many trigger factors of dry eye. These factors may be intrinsic to the person and/or related to the person's lifestyle. These include:

  • Age
  • Hormonal changes
  • Taking certain medicinal products
  • Eye surgery
  • Prolonged use of screens
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Use of eye drops containing preservatives
  • Dry environments such as smoke and air conditioning

Given the influence of the environment on the occurrence of this disease that markedly affects quality of life, some practical measures can prevent it:

  • Avoiding dry environments (smoke, air conditioning)
  • Protecting the eyes by wearing glasses on windy or sunny days
  • Adjusting screen brightness
  • Blinking your eyes fully and regularly
  • Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Cleaning the eyelids with a special product
  • Using preservative free eye drops.

You now know everything about dry eye, but most importantly, how to prevent it. Follow the recommendations and take care of your eyes