The dry eye syndrome can affect 3 out of 10 people, depending on the weather and environmental pollution and its symptoms that can affect the ability to carry out everyday activities.
There are more and more cases of dry eye syndrome that professionals identify in consultation, mainly due to increased environmental pollution affecting large cities, artificial air conditioning in closed environments and high exposure to screens.
In addition, there is a greater predisposition in women over 40 years of age.
The so-called "dry eye" syndrome is characterized by a change in the production of tears leading to symptoms such as eye irritation and itching and discomfort when using contact lenses.
In addition, experts stressed that not treating can cause serious consequences.
"The eye lid is in constant friction with the eye and friction can cause damage." Graphically, it can be said that the eyes function as wiper blades on the car: if you turn it on with a dry glass, it will scratch it and destroy it. it happens with the eyelid and the cornea: without lubrication, the lid hurts, "explained the specialist for ophthalmologic diseases of the eyes, founder and former president of the Argentine Society on the ocular surface, Alejandro Aguilar.
"It is a multifactorial syndrome that can affect 30% of the population," said Aguilar. "An increasing number of cases have been identified due to prolonged exposure to the screens, artificial and natural changes in the environment and the improvement of diagnostic methods," Aguilar said.
Exposure to dry and wind climate, as well as smoke and air conditioning accelerate tears, so avoiding contact with these irritating conditions can reduce the chances of developing dry eyes or give relief to those who suffer
Alejandro Berra, chief researcher at Conicet and president of SASO, said "the symptoms worsen in those who suffer from dry eye and live in large cities such as Buenos Aires" and noted that "a dry eye in a polluted environment would be more severe ".
"Several years ago, we worked with the Rangers at the Park of Los Glaceas National Park, where we noticed that the tears of these individuals, which were between 8 and 11 hours in the open, broke in 14-20 seconds. On average, the tear takes about 10 seconds in order to break. In the case of an individual who has no dry eye and lives in Buenos Aires, it breaks down in 7-8 seconds.
This means that with less pollution, less mixing from the particles that are in the air with tears and which improves the visual quality. In any case, this does not mean that those living in polluted areas will not develop dry eyes, as there are other conditions that affect their development, "explains Berra.
In addition, staying more than 5 hours a day with a look on the computer screen, the mobile phone or the TV favors the look of this condition.
So much so that a Mexican study found that 86.4% of people who attended the ophthalmic consultation had symptoms that were compatible with dry eye syndrome.
"Those who are more time ahead of the screen, flicker less and therefore tears disappear more quickly, many times, the devices are not ergonomically located, nor are they at the right distance. Even the calibration of the device's brightness can also affect," she said.
For those who can not ignore work commitments that involve a significant daily quota of work ahead of the screen, specialists recommend periodic blinking when looking at a computer, a board that is valid, and those who spend a lot of time reading or performing other tasks that require visual concentration .
Other recommendations for those working for periods greater than four hours a day prior to the computer are: annual consultations with an ophthalmologist (if they are not suffering from an existing ocular pathology); if they wear glasses, a review of graduation once or twice a year; use eye lubricants every 6 or 8 hours during work; periods of rest every 30 minutes from the screen and neck and limb movements.
Using a font between 11 and 12 points can also be useful, just as the use of video games is limited to one or two hours a day.
More common syndrome in older women
Although the age in which the dry eye syndrome can be manifested is variable, visits to the ophthalmologist causing symptoms are more common in people over 40 years of age and in women, where the syndrome is extremely common during climacteric.
In fact, hormonal changes associated with menopause are one of the main reasons why women are most affected by the condition of the dry eye.
This is because hormonal changes turn into changes in the production of tears. And not just the hormonal changes that occur in menopause. The various conditions affecting the functioning of the laryngeal gland or its channels, including autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, include the reduction of tear secretion and therefore predisposition to the development of dry eye syndrome.
Treatment and prevention measures
Depending on the severity of the dry eye syndrome and symptoms, traditional treatment is pharmacological and local, using artificial oils, drops, gels or ointments.
In severe cases, autologous serum drops or eye drops of immunomodulatory drugs are indicated, and it is common to observe the channels of evacuation of tears with implants in order to keep tears on the eye surface.
In all cases, the main purpose of treatment is to restore the stability of the ocular surface and the film with a tear, breaking the vicious circle of the condition.
General measures such as the use of sun and windscreen with appropriate glasses are also very useful when environmental conditions justify it.
Other useful measures are: do not smoke and avoid indirect smoke, direct wind and air conditioning; use humidifier, especially in winter; reduce the use of allergic and cold drugs that can dry the surface of the eyes and worsen the symptoms; more often blink and occasionally rest your eyes; Clean the eyelashes regularly and apply warm linings.
Timely and appropriate treatment of the dry eye syndrome allows to avoid the effects of its progression, which can seriously damage the cornea, and even in more advanced cases there may be a need for corneal transplantation.
Transplantation is said to be a surgical intervention through which the cornea, which is damaged by trauma, infections, corneal or degeneration deformities, is replaced by a healthy cornea. (NA)