film dysfunction triggers dry eye syndrome, which
is a common ocular disease, caused to people of
different age groups. However, the reasons for
dry eye syndrome have been recognized, but its
association with ocular allergy is still unknown.
What is dry eye?
When there is insufficient tear formation in
your eyes, it leads to ocular disorders. This
abnormal condition of the eye can be referred
to as 'dry eye'. A more distinct explanation
would be that, the problem is induced by abnormalities
in the tear production or inadequate stability
of the tear film, causing damage to the tear
surface. This, as a result encourages an itchy
or drying sensation to the anterior component
of the eye. Hence, these signs and symptoms can
be attributed to the condition of dry eye.
Dry Eye Syndrome and Allergy
Tear film dysfunction and dry eye syndrome are
synonymous. There are three common defects associated
with the dry eye syndrome. Improper tear composition,
excessive tear evaporation and abnormality in
lipid components or mucin in the tear production
are the three common defects of the dry eye syndrome.
Several factors contribute to the causes of
eye dryness. Female gender, chronic medication
use, hormone replacement therapy can generate
tear film dysfunction. Cytological methods have
detected that DES is closely associated with
ocular surface inflammation.
The dry eyes symptoms are more common among
women than in men (with a ratio of 2:1), who
are usually aged above 51 years of age. Similar
studies on eye dryness have been conducted by
many states, worldwide. An Australian survey
revealed that around 60 percent of patients aged
50 or above, were victims of dry eye symptoms,
whereas 16 percent of people had moderate to
Ocular surface irritation or dry eye symptom
can be attributed to many other long-term factors.
A history of arthritis, gout or usage of corticosteroids,
antidepressants can lead to eye dryness. Atopy
is considered a serious factor for eye irritation.
It has also been found that indoor air problems
in large corporate buildings, can bring upon
eye problems, especially eye itching and dryness.
Actually, what happens is that too much exposure
to dust particles shrinks the tear film break
up time. Studies have shown that nonindustrial
office dust causes sensory symptoms in eyes and
thus contribute to allergy.
The Treatments for a Dry Eye
Until recently, researchers have not been able
to find any pharmacological treatments for DES.
However, there are many dry eye treatments, which
have brought stupendous effect on the ocular
surface. These have been listed as below:
- The therapeutic options are the best for
the treatment of eye dryness, depending upon
the severity of the syndrome. In some cases,
the doctors may need to treat the underlying
eyelid diseases, or have to modify the environmental
conditions of the ocular surface. This can
heal any ocular disorders.
- Recent Japanese studies have shown an easy
technique of healing the problem. Warming of
the eye can bring in great improvements even
to the worst eye condition. A kind of warming
device can be used for meibomian gland dysfunction
or correcting the tear breakup time.
- The over-the
counter tear supplements can bring instant
relief to the itchy parts, by providing
moisturization to the ocular surface. The chemicals
of the supplements combine with the patient's
tear layer to render protection. Recently,
a new supplement has been developed, which
propylene glycol demulcents and polymers of
polythelene glycol 400, with polymer hydroxypropyl
which acts as the gelling agent to protect
the ocular surface environment. The whole treatment
is very effective in reducing the signs and
of the dry eye.
- The first and only therapy
to be approved by FDA for DES victims is
the topical cyclosporine
ophthalmic emulsion. This particular treatment
targets those whose tear production is suppressed
due to ocular inflammation. The therapy is
used to heal the lymphocytic inflammatory response
associated with DES that occurs on the ocular
surface or the lacrimal glands in patients
- Recently, many experiments
are conducted to produce tear substitutes
like colustrum. This
is best in treating conjunctival disorder.
Oral cyclosporine A (CsA), is used in treatment
severe ocular disorders, which incorporates
DES along with other eye problems. This is
treatment and deters the possibility of side
Nonetheless, the ocular treatments are many.
However, the unique new topical treatments are
apt for treating those patients with DES, which
can be in the primary or secondary stage associated
with ocular allergy.