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Dry Eyes

On a typical summer day, people may spend 14 to 16 hours per day in an air-conditioned room, at work, or at home to escape the heat, and some of them may experience dryness, irritation, stickiness, itching, burning, and watering from the eyes. They may be developing a medical condition known as “Dry Eye Syndrome.”


What Causes Dry Eyes?

A sufficient quantity and quality of tears in the eyes is required for normal vision and function.

The dry eye syndrome is caused by a change in the quality or quantity of the three layers of the tear film: the oily (exterior), water/aqueous (middle), and protein layers (inner).

The most common cause of dry eyes is air conditioning. The artificial air and temperature change caused by air conditioners can cause changes and have an impact on everything from the largest organ of the body, the skin, to the immune system, to the most delicate organ, the eyes. The extreme loss of humidity and resulting dryness in the air around us, particularly in low temperature settings in AC, causes more evaporation from the watery layer of tear film, resulting in evaporative dry eyes. Long term exposure to such AC can also alter the lipid production from glands in the eyelids, resulting in changes in both the quality and quantity of tear film and thus dry eyes.

Tears have antimicrobial properties, and when there is insufficient lubrication, the eyes are more susceptible to inflammation and infections, which can lead to vision loss.



What are the Causes of Dry Eye?

Other major causes of dry eye disease include:

  • Prolonged staring/usage of computer/mobile phones (Computer Vision Syndrome).
  • The natural aging process, especially menopause problems and hence women are more affected by dry eyes .
  • Certain medical conditions including diabetes, thyroid disorders and Vitamin A deficiency
  • Side effects of certain drugs like antihistamines can also be a cause of dry eye.
  • Laser eye surgery, though symptoms of dry eyes related to this procedure are usually temporary.
  • Tear gland damage from inflammation or radiation
  • Diseases that affect your ability to make tears, like Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and collagen vascular diseases
  • Problems that don’t allow your eyelids to close the way they should.
  • Air pollution -people in metros like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai are  few times more likely to be diagnosed with dry eye syndrome than the other towns with relatively little air pollution.


The following are the primary symptoms of dry eye disease:

Burning, dryness, grittiness, itchiness, aching sensations, heaviness, watering from the eyes, and blurred vision are symptoms of dry eyes and dry eye syndrome. When you have dry eyes, your reading speed can slow down, and the rate decreases as the severity increases.

Preventing Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms:
Some of the many dry eye solutions are listed below:

  • Try to limit and reduce the number of hours spent in air-conditioned rooms; an AC temperature of 23 degrees Celsius or higher is recommended.
  • Avoid sitting with your back to air conditioners to avoid having your eyes directly exposed to the air.
  • Place a small open bowl of fresh water in the corner of the room where you sit with the air conditioner to keep the humidity up, preventing dry skin and eyes. So far, this has proven to be one of the most effective dry eye treatments.
  • Drinking enough liquids is another dry eyes home remedy that can help prevent dry eye syndrome.
  • Conscious blinking while using a computer or phone will aid in the proper distribution of tear film.
  • Have a traditional 7 – 8 hours of sleep, which will give adequate rest to the eyes.
  • Consider wearing sunglasses or protective eye wear.
  • Contact your eye doctor to determine the cause of your dry eyes, and then follow the eye doctor’s recommendations and prescriptions for eye medications such as lubricants, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory eye drops, and other in-office procedures that may help your body produce and secrete more tears of higher quality, as well as reduce eye irritation and inflammation.
  • People will develop eye infections if precautionary measures to prevent dry eye syndrome symptoms are not taken. Untreated dry eyes can cause damage to the corneal surface (abrasion), corneal ulcers, and serious vision problems.

    Prevention is preferable to treatment. Check your eyes for dry eyes syndrome and get the proper treatment.


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We're an eye specialist hospital dedicated to providing the best care for you and your eyes. At Accra Specialist Eye Hospital, we are committed to delivering accessible and comprehensive eye care, to the highest possible standards. Our Expertise & Services Offered are Laser Eye Surgeries, Micro Incision Cataract, Surgery (Phaco), Retina Surgeries, Phaco (Cataract), Gluacoma Surgeries, Cornea Surgeru - Transplant , Oculoplastic Surgery and Child Eye Care Services. We're located at Tantra Hill - Accra.