What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome Asia Pacific Eye Centre Singapore

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome (DES) occurs when there is inadequate production of tears to lubricate the surface of the eye. This condition is common in Singapore [1].

In most cases, Dry Eye Syndrome is mildly uncomfortable, but does not cause any permanent damage to the eye. However, in severe cases, it can cause significant discomfort and greatly compromise one’s quality of life. People with dry eyes may it difficult to concentrate during work or school.

What Are The Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?

DES has a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Gritty or “sandy” sensation
  • Heaviness of eyelids
  • Discomfort in air-conditioned environments
  • Eye fatigue after performing visually-intensive tasks (eg. long periods of computer usage)

Dry Eye Syndrome Treatments

Dry Eye Syndrome can be caused by various factors. An eye specialist will be able to diagnose the cause of your dry eyes.

Lubricating Eye Drops

Lubricating eye drops or “artificial tears” can help to relieve symptoms of dry eyes. It is best to purchase preservative-free eye drops as certain preservatives may not be good for eyes in the long-run.

Lifestyle Changes

Making certain changes in your daily activities can help to alleviate the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome:

  • Reduce contact lens wear (in terms of number of days worn, and also length of each wear)
  • Avoid using cosmetics, makeup, and skincare products that may introduce foreign molecules into the eye or onto the eyelid
  • Refrain from sitting too close to the air-conditioner

LipiFlow for Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)

Around 80% of people in Asia who have dry eye have Meibomiam Gland Dysfunction [3].

In a study conducted by the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), around half the Malay population in Singapore was found to have meibomian gland dysfunction. While studies have yet to be conducted on the Chinese and Indian population, the prevalence of meibomian gland dysfunction is expected to be the same across different races in Singapore [4].

Treatment options of meibomian gland dysfunction include eyelid scrubs, warm compresses, and LipiFlow treatment. LipiFlow makes use of revolutionary Vector Thermal Pulse Technology treat meibomian gland dysfunction. It is a painless, 20-min treatment that can be performed in the clinic. During the treatment, the obstructed meibum is liquefied and pushed up and out of the gland orifices. This helps to clear the blockage in the glands to allow production of tears to resume.