Dry Eye Syndrome: Know Symptoms, Causes, Prevention

Having dry eyes are a very common problem. It increases as you age, here are causes, symptoms and prevention tips that you should know.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalUpdated at: Sep 16, 2021 10:41 IST
Dry Eye Syndrome: Know Symptoms, Causes, Prevention

Eyes are one of the most sensitive parts of our body and hence it needs more care as well. Even through our body is self sufficient to provide all the nutrients and care, sometimes a slight dysfunction may lead to problem in eyes. Most of us have had dry eyes once in a while. This is a condition where you do not produce enough tears that could keep the eyes wet and away from damage. This causes inflammation in eyes and you start feeling uncomfortable. This is called dry eye syndrome, this condition needs to be taken care of in early stages to avoid complication in eyes. Today, let us discuss about this eye syndrome in detail.

What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Well, there is not much to worry about in this condition. Dr. Aloka Sharma, Eye Specialist at Max Super-speciality Hospital, Kochi says that dry eye syndrome is as common as having cold. Having dry eyes can be due to multiple reasons, like not blinking eyes frequently or working between chemicals, too much stress on eyes, sometimes because of air conditioned room, looking at screen for long duration and so on. Dry eyes can cause complication only in cases where there is no care after this syndrome and pressure on eyes increase so as to create damage on eyes. It can be treated and prevented at initial stages very easily by some eye drops and lifestyle changes which we will discuss later. 


Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

It is important to know about the symptoms to determine the condition of dry eyes. Here are some evident symptoms which you might feel when you have dry eyes.

  • Redness in eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stingy mucus around your eyes
  • Burning affect that is somewhat like sting in eyes
  • Difficulty in wearing contact lenses if you have eye problem
  • Problem in visibility during night time
  • Watery eyes that is body’s response to irritation in eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue

You may get one or multiple symptoms in case of dry eyes. Usually people who get this eye syndrome have multiple symptoms at once and it is easy to determine this eye problem. 

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

As mentioned by eye specialist, dry eyes can occur because of variety of reasons. This is because you tear film in the eyes having three layers that are fatty oils, aqueous fluid and mucus. Combination of all three layers keeps your eyes safe, however because of certain conditions, these layers get affected resulting in dry eye syndrome. 

Some major reasons which might be affect your eyes adversely and cause complication are

  1. Hormone changes
  2. Autoimmune disease
  3. Inflamed eyelids
  4. Eye allergic disease

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Conditions Causing Dry Eyes Syndrome

1. Decreased tear Production in eyes


Dry eyes syndrome can occur when your body is unable to produce enough water for the eyes. It is important to keep the eyes wet, the second layer that takes care of aqueous fluid in the eyes is not properly present in the eyes. This can happen because of the following reasons-

  1. Due to increasing age, older adults face this condition more often.
  2. Medical conditions such as allergic eye disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma etc
  3. Some medications can also cause this problem such as decongestants, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants and drugs for high blood pressure etc. 
  4. Decreased production of tears in eyes is also caused by using contact lens, nerve damage or that caused by laser eye surgery. Symptoms of these problems do not last long though.

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2. Increased Tear Evaporation

Both of these conditions are different. Earlier condition was based on insufficient production of tear, and in this production is sufficient but there is evaporation of tears from the eyes. This happens because of clogging in your uppermost layer of eyes that is made of oil film. These are produced by small glands which are present at the corner of your eye lids. They are called meibomian glands and are commonly used to treat skin disorders. 

It happens because of these following reasons-

  1. Vitamin A deficiency
  2. Preservatives in tropical eye drops
  3. Eye allergies
  4. Due do less blinking of eyes
  5. Meibomian gland dysfunction
  6. Eyelid problems such as lids turning outwards or inwards
  7. Dry air or smoke can cause evaporation and dry eyes.
  8. Vitamin A deficiency 


Prevention Tips for Dry Eye Syndrome

Dr. Aloka Sharma gives some tips to help you prevent having dry eyes and this syndrome. You can follow these tips to keep your eyes healthy.

  • Avoid getting in front of blowing air in your eyes
  • Keep a jug of water when the air condition is on
  • Wear sunglasses or protective eyewear when you are moving out in heat
  • Give rest to your eyes in between long working hours or tasks
  • Be aware of your environment
  • Position of your computer screen should be little below your eye levels so that you have to open your eye lids less
  • Do not smoke or be in an area where there is smoke
  • Keep eye drops and apply it once a day in your eyes.

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