Frequent eye problems: Dry eyes are often a case for the eye doctor
Especially people who spend a large part of their working day on the computer know the problem of dry eyes. In the cold season, the complaints are often exacerbated by dry heating air. Experts explain when affected people should see an ophthalmologist and how such complaints can be avoided.
Staring at the screen for hours
More and more people spend most of their working time on the computer. If you sit at your desk all day and stare at the screen, you often have eye problems. What can you do if your eyes itch and burn? Experts from the Eye Foundation have the answers. In a message published by the "Informationsdienst Wissenschaft" (idw), they also explain when those affected should better see a doctor.
Lack of tears or rapid evaporation of the tear film
Dry eyes are one of the most common eye disorders. Around 20 percent of ophthalmologist patients are being treated for this.
In the cold season, dry heating air, low humidity and long work on the computer often aggravate the symptoms.
Dry eyes can be caused either by a lack of tears or by a rapid evaporation of the tear film.
"The tear film with a sufficient amount of tears is important for the health of the eyes," explains Professor Dr. med. Frank G. Holz, Chairman of the Eye Foundation and Director of the University Eye Clinic Bonn.
“It wets the surface of the eye, keeps it smooth and supple and rinses foreign objects away. It also supplies the cornea with oxygen and nutrients. "
If the composition of the tear film changes, the surface of the eye can no longer be properly cared for. The unpleasant consequences are pain, itching and tears - a feeling like sandpaper in the eyes.
Other causes of dry eyes
However, there are other causes of dry eyes. "Rheumatic diseases, diabetes mellitus or surgical interventions on the eye can also cause the so-called Sicca syndrome," explains Holz.
Long-term use of certain medications - including the contraceptive pill or sleeping pills and sedatives - can also lead to dry eyes.
The same applies to environmental pollution and climatic influences such as dry ambient air, air conditioning systems or dust. In addition, eyelid inflammation often occurs in dry eyes.
The glands in the area of the eyelid margins, which produce the fat portion of the tear fluid, are blocked - the eyes dry out even faster.
"Those affected who experience symptoms such as itching, burning or redness in the eyes should definitely have this clarified by an ophthalmologist," emphasizes the chairman of the foundation. "This is the only way to rule out serious, other illnesses."
Different treatment options
There are different treatment options for dry eyes. Tear substitutes can help wet the surface of the eye. Depending on the severity, different preparations are possible.
"Doctor and patient should decide together which tear substitute is suitable, since the effectiveness and tolerability are perceived very differently," advises Professor Dr. Christian Ohrloff, media spokesman for the Eye Foundation.
"Wearers of soft contact lenses should only use agents without preservatives, as these can accumulate in the contact lens and then damage the cornea," says Ohrloff.
If the symptoms are very pronounced and there is insufficient wetting, the lacrimal drainage canals can be closed with a small operation to increase the amount of tears available.
Relieve and prevent symptoms
In addition, small measures in everyday life can help to alleviate the symptoms or prevent eye problems in the office.
- The so-called Office Eye Syndrome can be alleviated with these tips:
- In any case, have your complaints clarified by an ophthalmologist.
- Provide fresh air in the room several times a day.
- Use a humidifier for the right humidity in the room.
- Keep air circulation in the car low. The fan should rarely be used and the air should not be heated up too much. Never point the blower directly at your eyes.
- Drink enough, i.e. at least two liters of water a day.
- Frequent and deliberate blinking while reading and working on the computer can help to renew the tear film. (ad)