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Dry Eye Syndrome: How Filipinos Can Treat It

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What is the main cause of dry eyes?

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a condition that affects thousands of Filipinos. It can be caused by a number of factors, including aging, medications, and environmental conditions. Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include burning, itching, and redness of the eyes. The good news is that there are a number of ways to treat dry eye syndrome. This article will explore the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for dry eye syndrome.

What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a common problem that affects the eyes of Filipinos. DES is caused by a deficiency of the tears that are necessary for good vision. The tears help to keep the eyes clean and protect them from infection.

There are various reasons why tears may be insufficient and unsteady. For instance, dry eyes may develop if your tear production is inadequate or of poor quality. The instability of the tears causes inflammation and surface damage to the eye.

What is the best treatment for very dry eyes?
Dry Eyes Syndrome And The Best Ways For Filipinos To Treat It.

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

There are numerous factors in the Philippines that interrupt the normal tear film and result in dry eyes. Fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus are the three layers that make up your tear film. This mixture often maintains the lubricated, smooth, and clear surface of your eyes. Dry eyes can be a result of issues with any of these layers.

There are several causes of tear film failure among Filipinos, including hormonal changes, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory glands in the eyelids, and allergic eye conditions. Reduced tear production or increased tear evaporation may be the cause of dry eyes in some Filipinos.

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1. Increased Tear Evaporation

Meibomian glands, tiny glands that create an oil coating on the edge of your eyelids, may block. Filipinos with rosacea or other skin conditions is more likely to have blocked meibomian glands.

Increased tear evaporation is frequently caused by:

  • Blinking less frequently, which tends to happen when you have certain disorders, like Parkinson’s disease, or while you’re concentrating on something, like reading, driving, or using a computer
  • Oblique blepharitis (meibomian gland dysfunction)
  • Eye irritation
  • Eyelid issues such as ectropion (turning outward) and inversion (turning inward) (entropion)
  • Contaminants in topical eye drops
  • Lack of vitamin A
  • Smoke, wind, or dry air
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2. Decreased Tear Production

Insufficient production of aqueous fluid, the liquid component of tears, can cause dry eyes among Filipinos. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the medical name for this ailment.

Reduced tear production is frequently caused by:

  • Aging
  • Several medications, including those for Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, acne, birth control, hormone replacement therapy, decongestants, and antidepressants
  • Certain illnesses, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, allergic keratitis, lupus, scleroderma, graft-versus-host disease, sarcoidosis, thyroid issues, or vitamin A deficiency
  • Although the symptoms of dry eyes associated with this technique are typically transient, corneal nerve desensitivity brought on by the use of contact lenses, nerve injury, or laser eye surgery
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Symptoms Of Dry Eye Syndrome

The following signs and symptoms in the Philippines, typically include both eyes:

  1. Dry eyes feel gritty and sandy.
  2. Tears often produce little or no relief.
  3. Eye fatigue is common.
  4. Pain and redness may be present.
  5. The eyes may look swollen or red.
  6. One or both eyes may be dry and sore to the touch.
  7. Filipinos with dry eye syndrome often experience difficulty reading or focusing in bright light.
  8. Difficulty in wearing contact lenses.
  9. Watery eyes as a result of irritation.
  10. In extreme cases, dry eye syndrome can lead to vision loss.
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Risk Factors

Here are the risk factors of dry eyes syndrome among Filipinos:

  • As you age, your tear production tends to decrease. Filipinos over 50 are more likely to have dry eyes.
  • eating a diet low in omega-3 fatty acids, which are present in fish, walnuts, and vegetable oils, or vitamin A, which is present in the liver, carrots, and broccoli.
  • Women in the Philippines are more likely than males to develop dry eyes, especially if they are going through menopause, taking birth control pills, or experiencing hormonal changes brought on by pregnancy.
  • History of Refractive Surgery.
  • Wearing contact lenses.
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Possible Complications of Dry Eyes Syndrome

Here are the possible complications among Filipinos:

  1. It can lead to blurry vision and decreased sensitivity to light.
  2. It can cause pain, redness, and discomfort.
  3. It can lead to fatigue and an inability to concentrate.
  4. It can lead to decreased production of tears, which can impact overall vision.
  5. It can cause decreased sensitivity to touch and sound.
  6. It can lead to inflammation of the eyelids and surrounding tissue, which can lead to vision loss.
  7. In extreme cases, dry eye syndrome may even result in complete blindness.
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The following may determine if you have Dry Eyes Syndrome and what are the possible causes of it:

1. Comprehensive Eye Exam

Your eye care professional can identify the cause of your dry eyes with the help of an eye exam that includes a thorough history of your general health as well as your eye health.

2. Determination of the Quality of Tears

In other examinations, the surface health of your eyes is assessed using specific dyes in eye drops. Your eye doctor in the Philippines monitors how long it takes for your tears to evaporate and examines for staining patterns on the corneas.

3. Measurement of the Volume of Tears

The Schirmer tear test may be used by your eye care professional to assess your tear production. Paper blotting strips are inserted beneath your lower eyelids during this procedure. Your Filipino eye doctor counts the number of strips wet by tears after five minutes.

The phenol red thread test is an additional method for calculating tear volume. In this test, the lower eyelid is covered with a thread containing a pH-sensitive dye. The dye is then wetted with tears for 15 seconds, after which the tear volume is determined.

4. Tear Osmolality Test

This kind of test analyzes the amount of water and particles in your tears. There won’t be as much water in your eyes if you have dry eye illness.

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Treatment Options For Dry Eyes Syndrome

Regular use of over-the-counter eye drops, often known as artificial tears, is sufficient for the majority of persons with infrequent or mild dry eye symptoms. You have additional options if your symptoms are severe and persistent. What you should do will depend on the reason for your dry eyes.

A condition or element that is causing your dry eyes may be reversed or managed as part of several treatments. Other therapies can enhance the quality of your tears or prevent them from evaporating too soon.

Sometimes, treating an underlying medical condition might help alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes. Your eye care professional might suggest a new medication if, for example, a certain one is causing your dry eyes.

Your Filipino eye doctor can recommend an eye surgeon who specializes in eyelid plastic surgery if you have an eyelid issue like your lids turning outward (ectropion) (oculoplastic surgeon).

The following prescription drugs are used to treat dry eyes:

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Eye drops for corneal irritation management

With the help of prescription eye drops containing the immune-suppressing drug cyclosporine (Restasis) or corticosteroids, inflammation in the cornea of your eyes can be treated.

Due to potential negative effects, corticosteroids are not recommended for long-term use.

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Medicines to lessen inflammation of the eyelids

Oil glands may not secrete oil into your tears if there is inflammation along the edge of your eyelids.

Antibiotics may be suggested by your ophthalmologist to minimize inflammation.

Most antibiotics for dry eyes are ingested orally, while some can also be applied topically as eye drops or ointments.

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Eye implants that function like synthetic tears

A tiny eye insert that resembles a clear grain of rice may be an alternative if your dry eye symptoms are moderate to severe and artificial tears are ineffective.

You inject the Lacrisert (hydroxypropyl cellulose) insert once daily between your lower eyelid and eyeball.

When the insert slowly dissolves, a lubricant for your eye that is present in eye drops is released.

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Medications that induce tears

Tear production is boosted by cholinergic medications like pilocarpine and cevimeline.

These medications are offered as eye drops, gels, or pills.

Sweating is one of the potential adverse effects.

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A nasal spray that stimulates the production of tears

Recently, varenicline (Tyrvaya) was given FDA approval to treat dry eyes.

A nasal spray is used to administer this medication.

Twice a day, one spray of varenicline is to be administered into each nostril.

Tyrvaya (varenicline) nasal spray

Using blood-derived eye drops

Drops of autologous blood serum are what they are known as. If your severe dry eye symptoms are not alleviated by conventional treatments, they might be a choice for you.

Your blood is processed to remove the red blood cells, and then a salt solution is added to the remaining blood to create these eye drops.

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Wearing particular Contact Lenses

Some patients in the Philippines with extremely dry eyes may choose to wear specialized contact lenses that shield the eye’s surface and collect moisture. These are also known as bandage lenses or scleral lenses.

Inquire about more recent contact lenses made for dry eyes from your eye care professional.

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Preventing tear loss by closing your tear ducts

To prevent tears from evaporating too quickly, your eye doctor in the Philippines may advise this procedure. Your tear ducts, which typically function to drain tears away, might be closed partially or entirely to achieve this.

With microscopic silicone plugs, tear ducts can be sealed off (punctal plugs). These can be taken off. Or tear ducts might be blocked using a heated process. Thermal cautery provides a more long-lasting option.

Punctal plugs
Punctal plugs

Using massage of the eyelids and light treatment

Filipinos with extremely dry eyes may benefit from an approach known as an intense-pulsed light treatment, followed by eyelid massage.

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Opening clogged oil glands

Oil gland blockages can be cleared up with the daily usage of warm compresses or eye masks. Another method to unclog the oil glands is with a thermal pulsation device, but it’s not clear if it has any advantages over warm compresses.

How can I treat dry eyes naturally?
Dry Eyes Syndrome And The Best Ways For Filipinos To Treat It.

How To Prevent Dry Eyes Syndrome

There are several steps that Filipinos can take to prevent dry eyes syndrome:

  1. Get plenty of sleep.
  2. Drink lots of water.
  3. Avoid contacts that irritate the eyes.
  4. Use a soft, moist cloth to clean the eyes often.
  5. Apply a lukewarm, sterile solution or cream to the eye(s).
  6. Always consult a Filipino doctor if your eyes feel sore, red, irritated, or swollen.
  7. Keep your environment comfortable and cool.
  8. Avoid smoking, alcohol, and caffeine.
  9. Avoid using harsh eye makeup or sunscreens.
  10. Consider using over-the-counter medications to help relieve symptoms, but always consult a Filipino doctor first.
How can I hydrate my dry eyes?
Dry Eyes Syndrome And The Best Ways For Filipinos To Treat It.

Takeaway: Dry Eyes Syndrome And The Best Ways For Filipinos To Treat It

Dry eyes syndrome is a common problem in the Philippines that can be treated with a variety of approaches. If you think you may have dry eyes syndrome, it’s important to consult a Filipino doctor (ENT/ophthalmologist) to get assessed and advised on the best course of action.



This website is intended to educate both members of the general public and those working in the medical field on the prevalence, causes, and methods for preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases that affect people throughout their lives. This website’s content is provided solely for informational reasons and is not meant to serve as a substitute for the advice of a qualified medical practitioner.

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Yvone Del Rio, RMT

Yvone Del Rio, RMT

Registered Medical Technologist. Chef in progress. Former theatrical performer. Amateur writer. Optimist. Wanderlust. Dreamer.
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