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Dry Eye: Common Challenges and Recent Advancements

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Dry eye is a condition in which your eyes fail to produce enough lubrication due to a lack of tears. A lack of tears can have various underlying reasons. 

Instability in tear production causes damage to your eye’s surface and inflammation. Dry eyes are extremely uncomfortable and may cause continuous burning or stinging. As part of this condition, the following problems occur: 

  • A frequent scratchy, burning, or stinging sensation in the eyes 
  • Light sensitivity  
  • Eyes may form stringy mucus around it or inside frequently 
  • Discomfort in wearing eye lenses 
  • The continuous feeling as if there is something inside your eye 
  • Eye redness 
  • Nighttime driving becomes difficult 
  • Watery eyes as a result of your eyes suffering irritation from dryness 
  • Eye fatigue or blurred vision.  

Recent Advancements 

There have been recent advancements in the management of dry eye conditions. These include: 

  • Recent progress includes the formulation of new strategies for treatment. In this, the eye doctors can target and examine the tearing instability better than before.  
  • Dynamic analysis of tear film is now possible. Experts can evaluate and measure the visual and optical functions of patients with dry eye. 
  • New studies have proved that controlling oxidative stress is a promising lead in dry eye treatment protocols. 
  • Secretagogues are a vital component in treating the tear film. They provide tear secretion and mucin.  
  • Lifestyle intervention can be highly useful to prevent the onset of dry eye in persons. Proper exercise, diet, and sound sleeping patterns will have a significant impact.  

Causes of Dry Eye 

Numerous reasons may be responsible for damaging a healthy tear film. You must note that a tear film consists of three layers: mucus, aqueous fluid, and fatty oils. A healthy and balanced combination of these three is vital to keeping the eye well lubricated, clear, and smooth. If there exists any flaw in any layer, dry eyes become a strong possibility in individuals. 

There can be many factors that cause dysfunction of the tear film. Some of those are as follows: 

  • Autoimmune disease 
  • Hormone changes 
  • Allergic eye disease 
  • Inflamed eyelid glands 
  • Increased tears evaporation 
  • Decreased tear production 


Certain challenges mean you have a higher risk of developing dry eyes. These are as follows: 

  • When you turn fifty years or older, the possibilities of tear production tends to diminish. Hence, advancing age is a challenge in keeping dry eyes away. 
  • Lack of tear production is more common among women. Hence, gender is also challenging. If you’re undergoing hormonal changes resulting from pregnancy, using menopause or birth control pills, you are susceptible to dry eyes.  
  • With a refractive surgery history or using contact lenses, you have a higher likelihood of suffering dry eyes.  
  • If you consume a diet lacking essential amounts of vitamin A, you may fall prey to dry eyes. It is important to consume broccoli, carrots, liver, fish, walnuts, vegetable oils, etc. 

Final Thoughts 

Dry eyes can occur for a variety of reasons. When a person cannot produce an adequate amount or good quality tears for proper eye lubrication, the condition occurs. Recent advancements in medicine and technology have expanded treatment options and effectiveness. Hence there is more hope of a cure for this condition.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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