What is dry eye?
Dry eye is when the quantity and / or quality of the tears of an individual is insufficient. The tears are constantly produced by tear glands and spread over the entire surface of the eye through the blinking of the eyelids. Composed mainly of water and fat, tears act as a thin barrier in front of the cornea. They protect the skin from external aggressions (such as dust or bacteria), moisten the cornea and nourish it, thus preventing it from becoming infected and / or altered.
Having dry eyes causes visual discomfort and may, in some cases, cause corneal irritation as well as eye infections. In recent years, cases of dry eyes have significantly increased in the face of the deterioration of our living conditions (pollution, air conditioning ...). Today, almost a third of the adult population is concerned.
Here are the most common questions about dry eye :
Why are the eyes dry?
Dry eye is often related to age, from 50 years the lacrimal glands atrophy. But other elements can also be taken into account as:
- Too dry, because of air conditioning or heating,
- Work in front of the computer, when the screen is fixed for several hours, we blink a lot less often,
- A hormonal imbalance, at the time of the menopause,
- Taking certain medications, such as anxiolytics, antibiotics, anti-acne treatment ...)
What are the good reflexes for dry eye?
Small, simple changes can be enough to improve eye comfort. For example, increasing the air humidity rate at home or in the office by lowering the air conditioning or heating. If you work in front of the computer, maintain a distance of at least 50 cm between the screen and you, think to blink regularly and to drink to compensate for the drying.
Or can you buy eye drops or sprays ?
You can buy eye drops, also called "artificial tears" without preservatives to moisten the cornea in pharmacies. For people who have trouble putting drops, there are sprays to spray on the closed eyelid, the product is diffused through the eyelashes.
When to consult an ophthalmologist ?
If the comfort does not improve with the drops or with the spray, it is absolutely necessary to consult an ophthalmologist. Dry eye increases the risk of infections or foreign body remaining on the cornea, because tears no longer serve as "cleaning".