Dry Eye Syndrome which in short form known as DES is a disorder in which either there is decrease tear production or increase tear evaporation. This is problem can be due to problem with quantity or quality of the tears in the eye.
Dry Eye is associated with other eye related symptom like difficulty in vision or discomfort in eye. Other symptoms of condition include inflammation of the surface of the eye. Dry eye cause difficulty in doing day to day activity like reading, to computer related jobs, difficulty in travelling. If the condition is not treated this can lead to pain, ulcers, scars on the cornea, loss of vision (permanent loss of vision is not seen in this condition).
Definition: Chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye causing discomfort and related problems.
Synonyms for Dry Eye Condition
- Dry eye syndrome
- Keratoconjunctivitis sicca
- Dysfunctional tear syndrome
- Lacrimal ketatoconjunctivitis
- Evaporative tear deficiency
- Aqueous tear deficiency
- LASIK induced neurotrophic epitheliopathy (LNE)
Risk factors for dry eye
In certain conditions risk of developing dry eye increases.
In Sjogren’s Syndrome, there is excessive dryness throughout body. This is usually seen in females in menopause. This may cause dry eye.
In Rheumatoid Arthritis, an autoimmune disease which is related to chronic inflammation of the joints may cause Inflammation around eyes which causes dry eye. Also, any object which falls in eyes causes inflammation in eye and in further course causes dry eye.
Intake of Sleeping pills, Multivitamin, Patient taking Parkinson’s medications, Frequent use of eye drops more than four times a day for more than 6 weeks, Diuretics (this drug is generally used in treatment of high blood pressure), Isotretinoin for acne, Opiates based medicine like morphine can cause dry eye. Patient with bone marrow or stem cell transplants can present with this condition. Orbital surgery, radiation and injury chemical or thermal can cause dry eye.
Low dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids and Patient on antihistamines, tricylic antidepressants Celexa, Lexepro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, and Paxil are all antidepressants that have reportedly made dry-eye conditions worse.
Below is listed few such conditions which may lead to dry eye condition.
- Blepharitis (hronic inflammation of the eyelid, resulting in inflamed, irritated, itchy, and reddened eyelids)
- Botulinum toxin (commonly known as Botox inject
- Cigarette smoking
- Contact lens wearers
- Diabetes mellitus patient
- Female taking oral contraceptives
- Hepatitis C infection
- HIV infection
- Hormonal imbalance like androgen deficiency
- LASIK surgery
- Meibomitis (inflammatory condition of the Meibomian glands)
- Older age
- Ovarian dysfunction
- Person living in low humidity environments
- Vitamin A deficiency
- Watching TV and computer for long time
Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome
In Mild Dry Eye Syndrome, patient has symptoms like irritation, itching, soreness, burning, or occasional blurring of vision.
In Moderate Dry Eye Syndrome, patient has increased discomfort and frequency of symptoms. Difficulty in vision is for long duration.
In Severe Dry Eye Syndrome, there will be increased frequency of symptoms. Patient is continuously troubled by symptoms.
Burning of the eye
- Decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer.
- Difficulty in doing activity in light and sensitivity towards bright light
- Difficulty in wearing contact lenses
- Early weakness and fatigue in eye.
- Heavy eyelids
- Inability to cry
- Irritation in eye with Tearing pain in eyes
- Mild itching can be present
- Pain and redness of the eye episodes of blurred vision
- Sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye episodes of excess tears from eyes which is followed by very dry eye.
- Stringy discharge from eye
Homeopathic Medicines for dry eye
In Homeopathy, there are certain remedies which are quite useful in dry eye syndrome. Below is described few such helpful remedies.
1- Arnica Montana
Arnica Montana is given in this condition when patient has a history of either injuries, falls, blows on head not only recent in origin but also remote one. It is also given in case of strains. It acts best on person with very dark hair with strong muscles, is always very enthusiastic, but at the same time very nervous. Patient is traumatised with grief or any type of sadness glooms in. Patient is extremely nervous and fears touch. He has completed lack of any emotion for near and dear person. Patient cannot bear pain. Cases of double vision is seen in case of traumatism along muscular weakness and paralysis and retinal haemorrhage. There is bruised sore feeling in the eyes after very work which need great attention. He must keep eyes open. Patient feel lost of control when closing the eyes. He feel tired and weak after seeing moving pictures.
Worse – from least touch, from motion, from rest, from taking wine, from exposure of damp cold weather.
Better – From lying down by keeping head low.
Dosage- Arnica Montana 30, 3 times a day for 5 days. But should be wet dose
Wet dose is prepared in following way- Taking liquid pack of the remedy known as liquid dilution in a bottle preferably witha dropper arrangement.
Take 500 ml bottle of water.
Pour out 3 cm of water from the bottle to leave some airspace.
Insert 3 drops of the remedy into the bottle and shake the bottle hard before you sip a capful which is the dose.
Nat muriaticum is given in patient who have bad effects of taking excessive salt and all of his complaints are due to excessive intake of salt. This salt intake leads to collection of fluid in body leading to dropsy’s, edemas and in long course causes anaemia and gout. Weakness of body is marked symptom of this remedy. This is seen in the neck. Patient takes cold very easily. There is dryness of mucous membranes. Patient has a medical record of hyperthyroidism goitre and diabetes. Patient has ill effects of grief, excessive fear, anger. If somebody consoles this type person then he feel worse of his complaints. Eyes feel bruised, with headaches in school children. Muscles feel weak and stiff. He feels as if letters run together. He sees sparks, before eyes. Feel difficulty in vision with appearance of zigzag around all objects. There is burning in eyes. Patient has difficulty in reading or writing. Tears stream down the face on coughing. Tears feel acidic and there is lot of burning when flows. Patient feel pain the eyes when looking down.
Worse – from noise, from music, from living in warm room, from lying down, patient feel worse around 10 a.m, patient feel weak at the sea shore, from mental exertion, from giving consolation, from taking heat, from talking.
Better – from open air, cold bathing, feel better when lying on the right side, from tight clothing.
Dosage– Nat muriaticum 30, 5 pellets 3 times a day for 10 days.
2- Euphrasia offcinalis
Euphrasia offcinalis is important remedy for eye complaint when there is catarrhal affections of the mucous membranes especially of the eyes and nose. There is acidic tears (cause inflammation, redness around nose) and watery discharge from nose. Patient feel worse in evening. It is given in catarrhal conjunctivitis with acidic discharge from eyes. There is profuse discharge from eyes and eyes water all the time. This discharge is thick and patient feel burning and swelling of the lids. So it is given in case of blepharitis. Patient has frequent inclination to blink. There is accumulation of sticky mucus on the cornea, so patient must wink to remove it. It is also given in cases of glaucoma when patient feel pressure in the eyes.
Worse in the evening, feel worse in indoors, from warmth, from light.
Better – from taking coffee, when in the dark.
Dosage– Euphrasia offcinalis 30C, take two doses per day for two days.
The characteristic symptom of this remedy is dryness of the mucous membranes and skin. It is given to old people, with inability to cope against cold. These patient has prematurely old look with great weakness. Patient has characteristic symptom of constipation. It can also be given to delicate children who fed on outside prepared milk and artificial foods. Patient looks all objects yellow. Eyes feel cold. Lids of patient feel dry. There is feeling of burning. smarting in eyes. All this complaint worse in morning.
Worse – in the afternoon, from taking potatoes, in morning on waking up, in a warm room.
Better – in open air, from taking cold washing, in the evening and on alternated days, from damp weather.
Dosage– 30 4 pellets 3 times a day for 6 days.
4- Arsenicum album
Arsenicum album is given in cases when patient’s complaint worsens in night and patient feel great weakness after doing least work. There is burning pains in body. Patient burning is better by heat. Patient feel very bad after eating fruits, especially watery fruits like watermelon and melon. Complaints of this patient returns after every year. This remedy should always be given when complaints come as result of chronic use of alcoholism, from history of biting of stings, from chewing tobacco, having ill effects on eating decayed food. There is burning of eyes, with acidic tears. Eye lids are red, ulcerated, have granules. In this remedy edema is seen around the eyes, Inflammation is seen with extreme pain. There is difficulty in seeing in light, which is better by taking external warmth.
Worse – from wet weather, after midnight, from taking cold, from taking cold drinks or cold food, from right side.
Better – from heat, from taking warm drinks.
Dosage– Arsenicum album 200, 4 pellets 4 times a day for 10 days.
4- Nux moschata
In this remedy patient has cold extremities, with extreme dryness of skin and mucous membranes. Patient is unable to keep awake. He feel sleepy all time. Patient has very changeable mood which ranges from laughing and crying. Patient has weakness of memory. He feels that he is in a dream. All objects look large.
Worse – from taking cold moist wind, from taking cold food, from cold washing, when lying on the painful side, from motion.
Better – by warmth, from dry weather.
Dosage– Nux moschata 30, 4 pellets 3 times a day for 10 days.
6- Zincum metalicum
Zincum metalicum is given for patient having weak memory. He is very sensitive to noise. He has no desire to work and to talk with anybody. He feels very alone. There is burning in eyes. Patient feels pressure as if pressed into head. He feels itching and soreness of lids. There is blurring of one-half of vision.
Worse – at time of menses, from touch, between 5 to 7 p.m, after taking dinner.
Dosage– Zincum metalicum 200, 4 pellets 3 times a day for 5 days.
Management of Dry Eye
- Drink lots of water.
- Wear sunglasses when outdoors, as it reduces light sensitivity of eye. It also keeps dust out of eyes on windy weather.
- Always clean room as it removes most of the dirt on floor.
- Use of humidifiers as this can increase the amount of moisture into the air. This can be useful in areas where there is low humidity.
- Avoid over-the-counter eye drops that contain preservatives.
- Increase your intake of vitamins A and C as well as important omega-3s by making sure your diet consists of many green, leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, citrus fruits, and vegetables. Staying away from foods and drinks that contain caffeine can also reduce your dry eye symptoms, as caffeine dehydrates your body.
- Take “eye breaks” if you are going to be reading or staring at a computer for a long time.