Tears: Guardians of the Eyes
The main task of tears is to protect the eyes, keep them moist and enable clear vision. Tears also prevent corneal inflammation and remove foreign bodies from the surface of the eyes in order to prevent damage.
The sensation of dry eyes is first relieved using artificial tears. At the same time, we try to remove the cause for the lack of tears. In more severe conditions, additional medications are also used and are chosen depending on the extent of eye impairment as well as the cause of the condition. Regardless of the cause, the goal of treatment is to ensure that the eyes remain as moist as possible. This can be achieved with tears substitutes, interrupting the drainage of tears through the tear ducts and anti-inflammatory and other medications.
Diseases with similar symptoms
There are a series of diseases that cause similar signs and symptoms as dry eye problems, but there is no disturbance of tear production or structure in these cases. The most common among these are blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), entropion (eyelids turned inward), ectropion (eyelids turned outwards), a disturbance of the blinking reflexes, an allergic reaction to eye drops or ointments, irritations caused by the environment (smoking, sun, wind, air conditioners) and overstraining the eyes.
Keratoconus is a degenerative non-inflammatory disease of the cornea that causes the cornea to become thinner and more convex with disease progression. That first signs that should alert you to the possibility of keratoconus are worsening visual acuity and rapid changes in your dioptre. Keratoconus is successfully treated with a procedure called "corneal crosslinking", during which the cornea is soaked with special vitamin B2 drops and exposed to UV light – triggering a chemical reaction that increases its rigidity.
Although contact lenses are used by millions of people every day, they can be the cause of permanent eye damage if they are inadequately maintained and as a result of poor hygiene and/or skipping regular ophthalmologist check-ups.
The cornea is like a kind of window in the anterior part of the eye which receives light and enables clear vision. There are different diseases that can affect the cornea and cause blurriness, visual impairment and in extreme cases, also blindness. These include keratoconus, keratitis, corneal ulcer and corneal scarring (macula).