I have a dry eye

What helps with dry eyes?

Status: 09.12.2019 11:28 a.m. | archive
Drops usually help against dry eyes.

Dry eyes (sicca syndrome) are one of the most common health problems. In the past 15 years, the number of those affected has more than tripled. Women are more likely to suffer from dry eyes than men. The symptoms are manifold: itchy, burning or reddened eyes, the feeling of tired eyes, blurred vision or a feeling of foreign body. And even if tears keep flowing, the eyes can be too dry.

Causes of Sicca Syndrome

There are several causes for the development of dry eyes:

  • Often it is Tear fluid the cause of dry eyes when their amount is too small or the tear film does not stay on the surface of the eye long enough.
  • Dry eyes are also associated with other conditions, such as Accompanying phenomenon with diabetes, problems with the thyroid gland, skin diseases such as psoriasis, neurodermatitis or rosacea as well as with rheumatic diseases.
  • Also Medicationsuch as beta blockers, psychotropic drugs, sleeping pills or preparations for allergies intervene in the production of the tear film and can cause dry eyes.
  • Presumably it is increasing Ecological damage not insignificantly involved in the development of the complaints. Dry heating air and air conditioning systems also promote the increased evaporation of the tear film. Concentrated work on the computer leads to a reduced frequency of blinking and thus to dry eyes. This phenomenon even has its own name: the "office eye syndrome" or "office eye syndrome".
  • Also constipated Meibomian glands can lead to dry eyes. Clues are tiny, crumbly deposits on the edge of the eyelid, which can hardly be seen with the naked eye. The cause of the blockages can be mites. The tiny arachnids live on hair follicles, eyelashes or on the skin of many people. There they feed on dead skin, fat and bacteria.

How the tear film protects the eye

The eyelid normally beats about 10 to 15 times per minute and spreads the tear film evenly over the cornea. The tear film protects the eye from foreign bodies and forms a sliding layer for the upper eyelid. Its components supply the front layers of the cornea with nutrients. Thanks to its antimicrobial components, the tear film protects the front of the eyeball from infections. And last but not least, the tear film smooths the surface of the cornea and thus makes clear vision possible in the first place.

Tear film and dry eyes

The tear film consists of three layers: The top layer mainly contains fats. It forms the optically effective, smooth boundary layer to the air and prevents the watery middle layer from evaporating quickly. The inner layer of mucus borders the cornea.

If less tear fluid is formed or if the composition of the tear film changes, the eyes become dry, the bacteria in the biofilm on the edge of the eyelid increase and lead to increased inflammation.

The production of the tear film is subject to daily fluctuations and decreases towards the evening. The body also produces less tear fluid with increasing age. Women are more affected than men because hormonal factors have an influence on the mucous membranes and thus also on the tear film.

Determine the amount of tear fluid

The amount of tear fluid produced can be determined by a simple test called the Schirmer test. To do this, a strip of filter paper (litmus paper) is hung in the conjunctival sac of the outer corner of the eyelid. After five minutes, the distance that the tear fluid has covered in the paper strip is read off.

The test can be done in two different ways:

  • On the unaesthetized eye the stimulus secretion is tested. Here, after five minutes, about 10 to 15 millimeters of the litmus strip should be stained.
  • Under local anesthesia the so-called basal tear secretion is measured. A running distance of less than ten millimeters indicates insufficient tear production.

Determine the quality of the tear film

The ophthalmologist can check the quality of the tear film using what is known as the break-open time. To do this, the cornea is colored and the change is observed using a slit lamp. The tear film should last ten seconds on the eyes after each blink. If it tears open too early, this is a sign that the composition is disturbed.

Moisturizing eye drops, sprays and ointments help

Dry eyes should by no means be ignored, because as a result the eyes can become less mobile, the corneas can scar or become cloudy - in extreme cases up to blindness.

  • Wetting eye drop can help. Tear substitutes are available in pharmacies without a prescription. The classic drops usually contain preservatives. Special dosing dropper bottles or packs for single use do not require preservatives and are often better tolerated. In addition, tear substitutes are offered as a spray and as an ointment for the night. If the symptoms persist, the cause should always be clarified by an ophthalmologist.
  • Clogged meibomian glands can be dealt with more thoroughly Lid margin care get free. To do this, very warm (not hot) compresses are placed on the eyelids for ten minutes once or twice a day. Then you wipe the edge of the eyelid from the outside inwards with moistened cloths, cotton swabs or single-use cloths soaked in tea tree oil. After about a week, the symptoms should subside significantly.
  • Also enough sleep is important so that our eyes can recover from the day full of pictures and start the new day fit.

Protect eyes from dryness

These simple measures can prevent dry eyes in many cases:

  • Switch off air conditioning and fan
  • Open the window regularly, both in the car and in the office.
  • Avoid direct air flow to the eye
  • Sun protection with quality sunglasses from an optician
  • Blink more often when working on a computer screen, watching TV or reading, and take short breaks regularly
  • Don't rub your eyes, just blink

Experts on the subject

Priv.-Doz. Dr. Mona Machemer, specialist in ophthalmology
Eye Clinic Lübeck
Market 1
23552 Lübeck
(0451) 31 70 06 00

Dr. Dorte Miebach, specialist in ophthalmology
Head of the ophthalmological practice clinic at the zoo
Hugh Greene Way 2
22529 Hamburg
(040) 822 99 10 44

This topic in the program:

Visit | 10.12.2019 | 8:15 pm