Eye care tips for the elderly | Dry eye syndrome in the elderly - The Healthy Lifes

Eye care tips for the elderly | Dry eye syndrome in the elderly

Dry eye syndrome in the elderly
Eye care tips for the elderly

Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which the cornea and conjunctiva are not properly hydrated. Unpleasant, sometimes painful symptoms appear. Elderly people are particularly at risk of developing dry eye syndrome.


Two main reasons for dry eye syndrome

Healthy eyes are protected by a complex tear film. Its lowest layer - mucous, has direct contact with the cornea and conjunctiva and makes the tear film adhere to the surface of the eye. The middle layer - water, contains nutrients and antigens. It nourishes the cornea and protects the eye against microbes. The outer lipid layer contains fats that prevent the tear film from draining and evaporating. With age, the structure of the tear film may shake.
The eyes become dry for two reasons, one of them is changes in the structure of the tear film. This problem is particularly acute if the tear fluid contains too little fatty substances and the tears evaporate too quickly from the eye surface, which is not protected by the stabilizing lipid layer. This process leads to a paradoxical situation in which the eyes are watering intensely, but the feeling of dryness does not disappear. The problem may also be due to a shortage of tear fluid. As a result of various factors, the glands can secrete too little tears to keep the eyes hydrated.

Why older people are more likely to get dry eyes

In the elderly, two adverse phenomena usually overlap, i.e. less tear secretion and a change in the structure of the tear film.

Dry eye symptoms increase with age due to the fact that the elderly suffer from other diseases that may be conducive to the development of dry eye syndrome. These include diabetes or rheumatic diseases. Adverse changes may also be the result of hormonal changes occurring in the women's body during menopause.

Is dry eye syndrome dangerous?

The symptoms of dry eye syndrome should not be underestimated, because the eyes without a protective layer are exposed to constant irritation, and the lack of effective protection against microorganisms makes the eye also much more susceptible to infection. Chronic dry eye can result in slight superficial damage and scarring of the cornea, which can result in blurred vision.

The treatment is extremely important, so you should visit an ophthalmologist who will determine the cause of the dryness syndrome and recommend the best treatment.