Burning and itching of the eyes
- Signs and symptoms:
* Foreign body (such as a grain of sand) sensation in the eyes
* Blurred vision that goes away when blinking
* Red eyes
* Light Sensitivity (Photophobia)
* watering eyes (Ephiphora)
* Contact lens intolerance (CLI)
These symptoms usually occur in both eyes. The severity of the symptoms is not the same at different times and is often worse after exposure to wind and dust, working with computers, watching TV, or prolonged study.
- Dry eye diagnosis:
If you have suspected the dry eye symptoms, be sure to consult your ophthalmologist. Remember that dry eye, in addition to having an uncomfortable feeling, if severe, may cause corneal puncture and permanent vision loss.
The ophthalmologist uses a variety of methods to check and diagnose the dry eye:
* Examine the tear film at the slit lamp
* Fluorescein eye stain test (Coloring the ocular surface by using special colors): These colors attach to the arid and damaged areas of the eye and identify them.
* Schirmer’s test (measuring the amount of tear with special paper): In this method, a special paper filter is placed inside the eyelid. After a few minutes, the moisture content absorbed by the paper filter is correlated with the amount of tear secretion.
* Investigating the chemical composition of tears: In this method (which is used in certain cases), the amount of solutes and proteins of tear is checked.
- Dry eye treatment:
It should be noted that problems with dry eye may be very mild or very severe. In very mild cases, it may improve the symptoms by simply applying general recommendations. But in more severe cases, different treatment options may be needed.
- General Recommendations:
*Drink enough fluids during the day. This helps keep the tissues of your body, including the tear film, moist.
* When you are working at the computer or watching television for long time, try to blink more frequently. Do not stare at the monitor screen, TV or book. Close the eyelids every 5 to 10 minutes, for several seconds.
*Avoid exposure to dust, smoke or other pollutants. Wear prescription eye glasses or sun glasses in dry or drafty environments.
*In the cold seasons that you use heaters inside your home, humidify your home with a humidifier. *Do not rub your eyes. Rubbing the eyes will cause more irritation and worsening of the symptoms. *Notice how the dry eye symptoms get better and when it gets worse.
*Avoid issues such as overheating rooms, hairdryer, dust and smoking that may cause eye dryness.
- Artificial tear drops:
Artificial tear drops are the most commonly used drug in the treatment of dry eye and usually eliminate dry eye symptoms. In mild and moderate cases, usually 3-4 doses of artificial tear drops are enough to eliminate the symptoms. Artificial tears are made in different pharmaceutical factories. The products of a particular factory may be more compatible with your eyes, so it's best to identify different products in consultation with your doctor and choose a brand that is more compatible with your eyes. Some types of artificial tear drops have short-term effects; they are quickly washed away from the ocular surface and eliminate the symptoms for a short time, while some other types are more viscous and have longer retention times; their effects last for several hours. One important point is that some of artificial tear drops contain preservatives, which sometimes can be irritating for some people or worsen dry eye symptoms. So if you use artificial tear drops regularly (more than 4 times a day), consult your doctor to choose a kind of preservative-free artificial tear drops for you.