A chronic lack of adequate lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye is mainly responsible for inducing the dry eye disease. The effects of the dry eye condition range from the subtle but regular eye irritation to crucial inflammation and sometimes, even scarring of the front surface of the eye. “Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca,” “Keratitis sicca,” or “Dysfunctional Tear syndrome” are few other names for the dry eye system. There are two types of dry eye syndrome scientists have identified so far – one is “Aqueous Dry Eye” and the second one is “Evaporative Dry Eye” or “Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).”
Why are Tears necessary?
Tears are essential for the overall health of the eye and to have a clear vision. They are produced by lacrimal glands and comprises proteins, vitamins, and electrolytes, and play a crucial role to maintain the health of the eye surface and to stop the infection. Tears are regularly created to nourish, clean, and impede the eye surface. They bathe the surface of the eye to keep it teary and wipe out the dust and debris. Any condition that hinders the proper secretion of eye drops can make the ocular system unwell and may result in dry eye. Tears are formulated by three layers – mucus, water, and lipid (oil). The lipid layer stops the evaporation of the water layer, and the mucus layer assists in tears movement over the eye surface. When these layers are not working in unison and how they suppose to, the eye drops either evaporate too quickly or do not reach the whole area of the eye, which will then lead to the symptoms of the dry eye.
There Are Two Prominent Types Of Dry Eye, Evaporative, And Aqueous, Which We Have Discussed Below:
- Aqueous Dry Eye: One of the most troublesome types of dry eye is Aqueous dry eye. It happens when out of three components in tears, the water part is missing. The aqueous dry eye produces irritation and redness on the white of the eye. The side effects of some prescribed drugs, such as anti-depressants and anti-allergy pills, can result in this specific condition called Aqueous dry eye. Also, autoimmune disorders like Sjogren’s syndrome can cause this, too. Such types of dry eye issues usually occur due to blockage of the tiny Meibomian glands in the eyelids of the humans. These glands create necessary oils that make the top layer of the tear film and are the main defensive element that is crucial to long-term visual functionality.
- Evaporative Dry Eye or Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD): Evaporative dry eye is one of the preeminent types of dry eye syndromes. 65% of the dry eye patients are affected by this specific type. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD leads to Evaporative dry eye where a shortage in the oil layer of the tear film induces the condition. These glands form the oily parts or lipid parts of the eye drops that slows the evaporation and keeps the eye drops stable. When this functionality gets hampered due to some conditions, that can initiate the other dry eye syndrome issues, including the injury to the cornea and sight-related problems. When the Meibomian Glands are choked, or the glands are damaged, the eye becomes unsheltered. Gland choking can happen over time from debris that is trapped in the eyelids, and due to the excessive computer and other gadget usages. For women, tiny particles of their make-up components can enter inside the eyelids and get clogged there for many years, which eventually may result in this syndrome. This state is known as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, and one needs to follow the prescribed treatment protocol religiously for the long-term control of the dry eye disease.
This article tried to explain the types of dry eye, which are Aqueous and Evaporative dry eye, how they occur, what factors lead to the condition, and how one can control the disease effectively in a detailed manner. If you suspect that you are affected by this condition, visit an eye specialist to get a thorough test done and follow the treatment plan afterwards.