Many cases of irritated eyes or chronic or allergic conjunctivitis, are actually a misdiagnosed dry eye syndrome, with discomfort not just improve or may even worsen with treatment. A specialist in dry eye can help to solve this problem.
Eye Irritation due to Dry eye is the most common cause of eye care consultations, by their frequency and because in many cases is misdiagnosed because it can manifest with tearing, seemingly a contradiction if we talk about dry eye.
Until recently it was thought that dry eye syndrome, was due to a lack of tear production and treatment clung to use artificial tears. In some cases, patients feel some relief from the discomfort but, in most cases discomfort reappeared or even worse.
What we know today is that this eye irritation due to dry eye occurs in both old people and young people, because in most cases the irritation factor is lack of tears but the most important cause is a poor quality of tears. Tear lacks the fat necessary to lubricate the eye and also to prevent evaporation of the tear film during each blink. The main factor is the alteration of Meibomian glands in the eyelids, responsible for secreting this fat.
There are many causes that alter the Meibomian glands, the most important ones we see in this list:
- Advanced age
- Hormonal changes (puberty, menopause)
- Drugs (antidepressants, estrogen, eye drops)
- Chemical toxicity (mascara, face masks)
- Excessive use of contact lenses
- Rheumatic and skin diseases (acne rosacea)
- Chronic Stress
- Unbalanced diet (low in omega-3)
Characteristically, the discomfort of dryness worse in dry environments with strong heaters or air conditioners, even with the abuse of artificial tears, because the symptoms do not improve and there is a tendency to use them more frequently, causing a toxic effect on the eye.
It is essential that in cases with eye irritation, apparently banal, think that it is a dry eye syndrome and can evolve into more serious stages, especially when it is associated with rheumatic or hormonal disorders.
The good news is that we now have a technology that allows it’s a correct diagnosis. We can measure the quality of the tear, the lipid component, stability and breaking time of the tear film and fundamentally, viewing the Meibomian glands by a Meibography.
Meibography showing Meibomian glands (asterisk).
With these data we can make a specific treatment. It is necessary to restore the functioning of the Meibomian glands and it is basic to control possible coexisting diseases such as rheumatic disorders, skin or thyroid pathology, control eye drops, mascara, overuse of contact lenses and consult on we could be taking drugs, especially antidepressants.
Related to treatment it is important to restore a correct diet and managing stress. As specific measures, we must restore the functioning of the Meibomian glands, by means with the reopening of its outlets and cleaning the internal content, what we know as “Meibomian glands proving”.
Treatment of dry eye by probing the Meibomian glands
After three years, our experience is very good and we can guarantee the success of this treatment by more than 90% of cases. Area Oftalmológica Avanzada have the most advanced technology and a multidisciplinary team of ophthalmologists, nutritionists and endocrine specialists, rheumatologists and dermatologists, to reach a correct diagnosis and to establish the most appropriate treatment for each patient.