Are you among those who suffer from excruciatingly discomforting dry eyes? Read on to know about how you can effectively manage the dry eye syndrome and its symptoms.

As annoying as it may be, Dry Eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome has become exceedingly common over the years.  To put in numbers, 5-30% of the people over the age of 50 suffer from dry eyes. Increasing work hours, dependency of Gen-Y on digital displays for their work, a surge in the contact lenses wearing population and increased exposure to dehumidifiers like air conditioners are some of the many reasons for this.

Through the guide below, we hope to educate you on what dry eye syndrome is all about, and how to manage it with some useful tips:

What are dry eyes?

Dry eyes, often known as ‘Sicca Syndrome', is a condition where there is a deficit of tears in the eyes due to low tear production, high rate of tear evaporation or imbalance in the composition of tears thus causing burning, itching, redness, pain and ocular fatigue1.

If you thought that your eyes produce tears only when you cry, feel extremely emotional, or yawn, think again! Tear secretion is a process that constantly happens in the eyes. Healthy eyes are always covered with a fluid known as the tear film. The tear film is naturally designed to remain stable between each blink. A stable tear film prevents and protects the eyes from becoming dry, and keeps the vision clear and comfortable.

However, if the tear glands produce a low amount of tears, the tear film can destabilize. It can break down quickly, creating dry spots on the surface of the eyes. This most commonly results in itchy, irritated dry eyes!

Common Symptoms of Dry Eyes:

If you present with these signs and symptoms you're most probably suffering from dry eyes. Do consult a specialist if the symptoms persist2:

  • A stinging sensation in the eyes (burning eyes).
  • Feeling of dryness in the eyes
  • Feeling of grittiness and soreness in the eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
  • Eye sensitivity to smoke
  • Eye sensitivity to wind (resulting in watery eyes in the wind)
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Eye fatigue, even when reading for a relatively short period
  • Photophobia - sensitivity to light
  • Eyelids stick together when waking up