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Dry eyes can occur for a variety of reasons, some which may be attributable to contact wear and others can develop for other reasons. If your dry eyes are a result of contact wear or overwork, you can simply switch lenses or wear your lenses for shorter periods of time. However, if you have dry eye syndrome or an eye disease, your doctor probably has more suggestions for you.

Dry eyes occur for a number of reasons, although there is thought to be a particular link between extended contact lenses and dry eyes. Dry eyes are also prevalent with older contact lens wearers as tear ducts become less effective with age. Problems with contact lenses and dry eyes become exacerbated when wearers spend a considerable length of time in front of a computer screen or in an air-conditioned environment.

Tears serve an important function in the health of the eyes. They wash off dust, chemicals, germs and other foreign bodies. They control the microorganisms in the eyes with their enzymes. In a condition called ‘dry eyes,’ the tear gland does not secrete enough tears, or the quality of the liquid is poor and evaporates very fast. Normally the tears form three layers over the eye. The lacrimal glands produce water, and the small glands produce oil and mucus. The bottom mucus layer covers the cornea, and over it is the water layer with some nutrients. The outer oil layer prevents the water from evaporating.

The other problem could be the lack of enough secretion of the mucin layer in your eye. This is the layer that lies between the eye surface and the inside watery layer. When this mucous-like fluid is deficient, there is not enough of this slightly sticky substance to keep the eyes moist. This, too, could result in an uncomfortable or scratchy feeling in the eye. Sometimes, a lack of mucin makes one feel like there is a piece of grit in the eye that won’t go away. Measuring this is not common but one can deduce that if it isn’t any other cause, it could be a mucin deficiency.

If this treatment still does not completely eliminate the dry eyes, then Punctual plugs must be inserted. These are either collagen or synthetic plugs that are placed in the drainage area in the cornea of the lids. This prevents the tears from leaving the eye and thus improves comfort. The final treatment as a last resort is the use of wet cell eye glasses. These are glasses that look like swimming goggles and retain moisture in the eye area by physically sealing in the tear film.

Dry eye syndrome cannot be cured but artificial teardrops and lubricating ointments can relieve the symptoms but it is important to keep to regular applications even if your eyes feel fine. Eyes can dry out while you sleep so remember to apply a lubricant at bedtime. Other treatments include the temporary or permanent blocking of the ducts that drain the eyes and, surgery, and prescription medications as advised by your eye specialist.

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Category : Alternative Medicine