3 New Strategies for Dysfunctional Tear Syndrome

3 New Strategies for Dysfunctional Tear Syndrome| HealthSoul

Dysfunctional tear syndrome or dry eye disease (DED) is a condition involving the eye’s surface and tears. The eyes continually generate tears that move across its surface and keep it moist. When a person has DED or dry eye disease, their eyes are unable to produce adequate tears, or what is produced quickly evaporates from the surface of the eyes, keeping them from retaining their moisture. Some people may even suffer from both these conditions, making their eyes feel irritated and dry and even resulting in vision problems.

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that optometrists frequently see. While about 30% of patients may be over the age of 50, it is not associated with aging as some younger people can experience dry eye flares stemming from various factors. These include environmental conditions such as air conditioning or work-related problems from facing the computer screen for extended periods. Also, allergies can be a trigger for this condition when they result in inflammatory responses, making it difficult to focus and often feeling a burning sensation in the eyes.

If a person has DED, they will frequently have a feeling of something in their eyes, which is referred to as a foreign body sensation. The eyes may also feel sandy or gritty, much like when something enters the eye and irritates it. Other symptoms are redness or a burning sensation. Some people may complain of sensitivity to light or “photophobia,” and their vision may blur. While it is called dry eye syndrome, patients can display watery eyes, the body’s way to counter the eye’s uncomfortable feeling.

However, the tears from watery eyes have no effect in moisturizing the eyes. Some people can experience these symptoms constantly. Others may go through it every once in a while, depending on the environment and other conditions. If left untreated, this condition can result in scarring of the eye’s surface and eventually lead to vision problems.

New strategies for dysfunctional tear syndrome

1. Eyelid inflammation drugs

Doctors will usually recommend antibiotics that can help decrease inflammation. Often, these inflammations occur around the edges of the eyelids, restricting the secretion of oil from the oil glands to the tears. These antibiotics can be taken orally, or you may opt for ointments or eye drops.

2. Artificial tears eye inserts 

For severe cases that do not respond to artificial tears, eye inserts are an option that can help. These inserts are tiny, the size of a grain of rice, and is inserted daily in between the eyeball and lower eyelid. When applied, they slowly dissolve and produce a particular substance found in eye drops to provide the eye with the lubrication it needs.

3. Punctal occlusions

Punctal occlusions are procedures wherein the doctor inserts a plug into the lower eyelid’s tear drain. This plug may be temporary and dissolves by itself. An alternative is the silicone type that only a doctor can take out.

Many factors can result in the development of dysfunctional tear syndrome. While there is no permanent cure for it, there are many treatments available to reduce its symptoms. Apart from these, it is always best to take good care of your eyes and minimize exposure to various triggers that can cause damage to the eyes.