One of the most common vision impairments is called Dry Eye Syndrome or DES. It is also known as Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS). DES is a medical condition in which your eyes are ‘dry’. Symptoms include blurred vision, redness, discharge from the eyeball, irritation and eye fatigue. The condition may be mild to severe. What follows is some important information about DES.

DES occurs when your eyes either do not produce enough tears or the tears that are produced evaporate too quickly to support your eye. There are many environmental factors that can cause DES. These include:

  • Allergies
  • Smoking
  • Improper use of blue screens on computers, cell phones and tablets
  • Medications including antidepressants, antihistamines & blood pressure medication
  • LASIK surgery

There are many natural factors that can cause DES. These include:

  • The insufficient intake of proper nutrition and vitamins necessary for healthy eyes
  • High blood pressure
  • Certain types of gland deficiencies
  • Hormone replacement
  • Side effect of pregnancy

Other causes may include contact lenses, and certain eye ailments or diseases.

There are several tests that can be performed to help your optometrist confirm DES. One of these is the Schirmer’s Test. This test is a quick five-minute exam that will measure the amount of moisture that ‘bathes’ the eyeball.

Preventive measures

Unfortunately, many preventive measures run counter to modern optometry and ophthalmology. For instance, limiting the amount of time you wear contact lenses helps to minimize DES. Also, LASIK surgery can exacerbate DES, so it is not always an advisable solution for improving your eyesight. Finally, eating right, getting the proper amount of rest, and avoiding long-term blue screen use such as computers and cell phones are excellent interventions.

Common Treatments

  • Rehydration with eye drops or prescribed lubricants
  • Medication
  • Immunosuppressants such as Cyclosporine
  • Surgery

Begin a healthy eye regimen early in life. Some of the best ways to prevent ailments like Dry Eye Syndrome is to be informed about the origins and causes of an ailment and the steps you can take to ensure your vision is protected.

To learn more about Dry Eye Syndrome and other eye problems contact the experts at Island Eyecare.