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Goodbye Dry Eyes!

I was recently given the opportunity to give a talk to local general practitioners (GPs) in Melaka. Thanks to Pantai Hospital Ayer Keroh and TRB Chemedica for making it possible.

Here are some of the key takeaways and must know facts about dry eye disease.

What is dry eye?

Dry eyes are becoming more prevalent as we spend more time in front of digital screens.

Dry eye occurs when the quantity and/or quality of tears fails to keep the surface of the eye adequately lubricated. The occurrence increase with age and more prevalent in female.

What are the symptoms of dry eye? 

Scratchy sensation or the feeling that something is in the eye would be the most common among other symptoms such as stinging or burning, discharge, pain, and redness in the eye. Blurred vision is also common. You may not have to wait for blurring of vision to see your friendly ophthalmologists.

What causes dry eye?

Dry eye can occur when basal tear production decreases, tear evaporation increases, or tear composition is imbalanced. Common causes of dry eyes:

  • Medications including antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, birth control pills, hormonal therapy, medications for anxiety, Parkinson’s disease & high blood pressure.

  • Decline in tear production with age. People age 50 years or older are at higher risk.

  • Rosacea (an inflammatory skin disease) and blepharitis (an inflammatory eyelid disease).

  • Autoimmune disorders such as Sjögren’s syndrome, lupus, scleroderma, and rheumatoid arthritis and other disorders such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, and Vitamin A deficiency.

  • Women are more likely to develop dry eye. Hormonal changes during pregnancy and after menopause have been linked with dry eye.

  • Prolonged periods of screen time encourage insufficient blinking.

  • Laser eye surgery may cause temporary dry eye symptoms.

How is dry eye diagnosed and treated?

People experiencing dry eye symptoms should consult an eye care professional to determine the cause, which guides treatment strategy. Common treatment options as follow:

  • Change medications

  • Over-the-counter (OTC) topical medications

  • Environmental and lifestyle changes

  • Prescription dry eye medications

  • Devices

  • Surgical options

Here are some of the pictures taken on the day:

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