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Ocular Allergies

An estimated 20% of the world’s population suffers from allergic disease and may present as red itchy eyes, rhinitis (runny nose), asthma, and allergic conjunctivitis.

Ocular allergies are specific immunologic changes that result in inflammation on the conjunctival surface. This is a response to an increased level of Mast cells in the surface tissue and will result in a mild allergic reaction. When immunoglobulin E is introduced and interacts with a mixture of mast cells, lymphocytes and eosinophils, the allergic response is more severe and corneal involvement is much more likely.

There are several types of allergic reactions that affect the eyes. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is one of the most common types and is a typical reaction to Ragweed pollen and other environmental allergens. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis is a variant of the seasonal type, but reoccurs yearly in response to exposure to a certain allergen. Vernal conjunctivitis is uncommon and is a chronic type of the seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. This type more often occurs in children. Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis is most often associated with contact lens wear and is a reaction to exposure to surface debris. It results in follicles and papilla (bumps) on the inside surface of the lids. Finally, contact dermatitis is an acute response to exposure to an allergen. It results from touching an allergen and then rubbing the face or eye lids. This causes exposure and red, itchy, scaly skin is the result. There may be ocular involvement if the eye is exposed as well as the skin.

Treatment options vary depending on which allergy the patient suffers from. Surface allergies like contact dermatitis are best treated initially by cool compresses. Oral antihistamines interfere with systemic involvement, but are not the best choice for the surface disease of the eyes. Vasoconstrictors are available over the counter, but don’t work that well for moderate to severe reactions.

Mast cell stabilizers have been around for some time and are effective in reducing some of the symptoms, but still leave the patient uncomfortable. The newest treatment modality is the combination multi-action surface medicine like Patanol and Pataday. This medication is comprised of mast cell stabilizers and antihistamines. They attack the entire source of the disease process. Relief is quick and with Pataday which is a single does per 24 hours, long lasting and easy to use. The only stronger topical medication is steroids. They will resolve the symptoms and red eyes and are used in severe allergic reactions. The only problem is that they can NOT be used for prolonged treatment due to the severe side affects. When a bad allergy is encountered, steroids can be employed to start the treatment and then change to medications like Patanol/Pataday for long term therapy.

In short, ocular allergies are very common and cause substantial discomfort in affected individuals. New treatments and medications eliminate these symptoms and permit the individual to live a normal life during previously difficult times.

Natural Eye Care Tips

Do you suffer from sore irritable eyes? Are your eyes often red and swollen and do you suffer from dark rings and puffiness around your eyes? Well there are quite a number of ways you can treat sore eyes without having to resort to expensive creams and lotions.

Very few people realize that there are a number of specific exercises and regular steps you can take to keep your eyes healthy and working properly. If you start a regular regime of self-administered eye related treatments you can reduce soreness and swelling quite quickly and maintain the proper function of your eyes. Although there are many such treatments we have dealt with some of the more simple and inexpensive eye care tips that are available to you.

Easy And Inexpensive Eye Care Tips

One of the best ways for you to keep eyes functioning properly is to ensure that you have a diet that is rich in beta-carotene. Many fruits and vegetables are beta-carotene rich including carrots, spinach, papaya and mangoes.

Another important recommendation to assist in eliminating sore and red eyes is to keep your eyes protected against the harsh rays of the sun. Whenever you are out in the sun for extended periods of time you should, wherever possible, always wear UV protection enhanced sunglasses. If you are lying on the beach for example you should also cover your eyes with a towel or hat so as to avoid the sun’s piercing rays.

When you are at home and about to retire to bed for the night it is a good idea to place small slices of cucumber on your eyes. This helps to reduce puffiness and bags from under the eyes and also relieves soreness. During the day you will find that by gently applying the juice from crushed cucumber around the eyes any irritation or dryness will be reduced.

You could also start a daily routine of very simple exercises to help improve your eyes and the appearance of the surrounding skin. One excellent exercise involves sitting down and rubbing your hands together. The friction from the rubbing will heat your palms. Once your palms are warm place one palm over each eye and let the warmth flow into the skin surrounding your eyes. Ensure that your eyes are fully covered and that no light gets into your eyes. While you are doing this take slow, even deep breaths and relax yourself. Repeat this process for around 15 minutes each day and after a week or so you will notice the improvement in the inflammation around the eyes.

So by eating the right beta-carotene rich foods, using natural products on your eyes and surrounding skin as well as some simple daily exercises your eyes will show marked signs of improvements within a relatively short period. Remember that your eyes are very important to your overall health so if you notice any unusual symptoms like a discharge from the eye or repeated redness and soreness please consult with your doctor as you may be suffering from a more serious problem.

Dry Eye Care – Gets the Red Out

If you need to learn about dry eye care, you are not alone. Studies show that more than 3.2 million people in the United States need dry eye care. The condition is most prevalent in women; eight percent of women over the age of 50 in the United States need dry eye care.

What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Eyes?

Sufferers of dry eye syndrome experience:

* Burning eyes
* Scratchy eyes
* Stringy discharge in the eyes
* Excessive tearing
* Intolerance of smoke and wind
* Blurry vision

What Are the Causes Of Dry Eyes?

Dry eye syndrome is reportedly caused by one or more of three things:

* Inflammation occurring with autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis
* Sjogren’s disease can cause dry eyes
* Systemic lupus erythematosus

Another cause of excessively dry eyes comes from a problem with the outer layer of your tears that may permit rapid evaporation of the tear fluid. This condition is sometimes caused by insufficient testosterone in your body. It can also be caused by side effects of other medications, such as:

* Antihistamines
* Antidepressants
* Diuretics

These medications can interfere with your production of tear fluid.

Conservative Dry Eye Care Treatment

Dry eye care can be simple or complex, depending on what is causing your dry eye syndrome. If dry eyes are a side effect of a medication your doctor has prescribed for you, tell your doctor about your dry eye problems.

A substitute medication may be available that can treat your medical condition without causing your eyes to dry up. If no substitute is available, you may be able to diminish the side effect by decreasing the dosage of your medication.

Eye drops are only a temporary solution, but they can still provide much needed emergency relief to someone needing dry eye care. Remember, however, they are not a long-term solution for dry eye care, and they do nothing to treat or cure the underlying condition that causes the dryness.

Topical cyclosporine, which must be prescribed by your doctor, treats the inflammation that can cause dry eyes while it lubricates the eyes. Many patients report that they get fast relief from dry eye syndrome once they start using cyclosporine. This medical dry eye care treatment has very few, if any, side effects.

I suggest that you do something about your dry eyes. Dry eyes aren’t comfortable and the condition will not just go away on its own.

Remember that eye drops only provide temporary relief and are generally not healthy for your eyes, so limit their use. Drink a lot of water to keep your body hydrated, blink often, and whatever you do don’t rub your dry eyes.

Chronic Dry Eyes Or Red Eyes

Absolutely white, whites of the eye, is a myth. Veins in the eyes are and must be visible in healthy eyes. It is only when the red veins are dilated, the eye appears red. The drying up of lubricants and other protective fluids in the eye can cause irritation in the eye and result in unaccustomed redness and dilation of the veins in the eye. This makes the veins stand out on the whites of the eye giving the eye a reddish color.

Dry eye is also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), or keratitis sicca, sicca syndrome, xerophthalmia, dry eye syndrome (DES), or simply dry eyes. This is an eye disease caused by decreased tear production or increased tear film evaporation from the eye commonly found in humans and some animals. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a Latin term that means “dryness of the cornea and conjunctiva”.

A good night’s sleep and repeated lubrication of the eye may not solve the problem, if the dry eye condition is a symptom of some deep rooted systemic problem.

What causes dry eyes? Environmental factors, aging, diseases such as the Sjogren’s syndrome or lifestyles could cause dry eyes. For instance people who constantly stare at the computer monitor without blinking can develop dry eyes over a period of time. Dry eyes could also be caused by obstructions in the tear ducts which reduces the amount of fluids that flow in to the eye.

What are the symptoms of dry eyes? A dry eye is a condition that normally does not produce any eye irritation and hence patients with dry eyes do not actually realize that they have a problem of dry eyes. Chronic dry eyes could result in pain in the eye, light sensitivity, constant gritty sensations, itching, redness and blurring of vision.

Sometimes, people with dry eyes may have excessive tears overflowing the eyes and running down the cheeks causing some confusion about the condition. However, this should be correctly interpreted as a distress signal that the eye is being deprived of lubrication and other protective fluids and is signaling the nervous system for compensation. The response is a flood of tears in the eyes. However, these tears tend to arrive too late and the eye needs to be treated and regenerated.

Diagnosis of dry eyes is done using routine clinical exams and other specific tests such as Schirmer test to determine how much moisture is present in the eye and the severity of the problem. Dyes such as fluorescein or rose Bengal are used to stain the eye surface and determine how much of the surface is dry. Another test that is often used is teat break up time test (TBUT) which helps doctors determine the time taken by the eye to respond with tears to foreign particles in the eye.

In several cases mild dry eye conditions can be set right by the use of preservative free lubricating drops in the eye. Chronic dry eyes are treated with artificial tear drops and ointments, temporary or permanent puntal occlusion, Restais, other medications using tropical steroids and surgery.

Dry Eyes Treatment

The incidence of dry eyes in America has grown dramatically over the past decade as the environment has changed, and the average age of Americans has increased. As such, new and better therapeutic alternatives are required to treat this chronic and potentially damaging condition. While most individuals simply chose to live with the discomfort of dry eyes, the physiological changes that can, and do occur as a result of decreased tear flow are worth noting.

Dry eyes can occur either as a result of decreased tear volume, or an alteration in the tear quality. There are several components to tears including water, mucin and enzymes; each with a special responsibility. If any one of these components are missing, decreased or altered the result will be dry eyes. For example, if there is an inadequate amount of mucin in the tears, the tear/cornea interface will be changed and the tears will not maintain a constant and even coverage. Tear break up time will be short, usually less the 10-15 seconds, and the eyes will become uncomfortable. Like wise if the enzyme component is altered, there is an increase in the likelihood of bacterial build up on the eyelid margins resulting in Blepharitis; which is a lid inflammation. This in turn will reduce tear production into the eye. Obviously, a simple decrease in the tear volume will result in dry eyes since there will not be enough tears to cover the cornea for the required time period.

Dry eyes result in symptoms such as sandy, burning, red eyes which if untreated will get worse over time. This will cause individuals to rub their eyes often abrading the cornea. In addition, a dry eye results in the corneal epithelium to lose its transparency giving it a milky haze. Naturally, this can and often does makes the vision worse. Continued dry eye conditions can permanently alter the corneal tissue, and scarring may result. As the eyes dry out, the lids become more involved and the Blepharitis worsens resulting in the eyes to be even dryer. It is a vicious cycle that must be broken as soon as possible.

Treatments have evolved, and patient comfort has dramatically improved along with these changes. Artificial tears are the starting point, but most often do not solve the problem. Next up is treatment with steroid eye drops along with lubricating drops. This therapy frequently does show noticeable improvement in the condition. When additional help is required, Restasis eye drops are employed to stimulate tear production. This medication is a good alternative, but does require its’ use for many months, twice per day at substantial cost to the patient. Unfortunately there are still many patients that are still uncomfortable.

The inner corners of the eye lids have small openings called Puncta. These openings drain the tears into the nose via ducts, allowing tear flow out of the eyes. On occasion, they get clogged causing tear overflow, and must be surgically opened. This concept is employed to balance tears in the eye when the eyes are dry. Small cylindrical materials can be painlessly inserted into the duct, and effectively blocks the out flow of the tears. This would be similar to covering the drain in the tub. In this case, by preventing tears from leaving the eye we can increase the tear volume, and improve comfort and function. There are two basic types of Punctal Plugs. The first is a temporary one that is made of collagen. These are great because they dissolve in 2-3 months, and result in immediate relief to the patient; but do not have long lasting potential for infection or tissue alteration. If during that 2-3 month period there is an increase in tear production then there would be no need to reinsert another plug. If additional treatments are required, it can be easily done as long as is necessary. There is also a permanent type made of silicone. These are inserted the same way, and have the exact same affect, but do not dissolve. If a problem arises they must be physically removed. In short, punctal plugs are a great way to reduce the deleterious effects of dry eyes, and significantly improve patient comfort.

How to Get Rid of Dry Eyes

Typically, when you think about finding menopause relief you don’t automatically think of dry eyes. Yet over 60% of women are affected by dry eyes, and much of the reason is directly related to the hormonal change during menopause.

Dry eyes can be very annoying, and it can also cause scarring on the cornea, develop into ulcers and even lead to infections. The eye fluids normally carry away dust and debris, once this ceases there is a higher incidence of infections.

What are some dry eye symptoms?

Everyone experiences dry eyes occasionally. It could be from fatigue, overuse, weather, contact lenses, or a lack of sleep. When the symptoms don’t go away, or increase you should see your doctor.

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Mucus that stings.
  • Irritation from wind or smoke
  • Itchiness
  • Tears that run down the cheek
  • Scratchy feeling

The conventional treatments

Conventional medicine usually prescribes eye drops, or blocks the drainage system. These are useful in the short-term, but do nothing to treat the underlying cause. Dryness of the eyes is regarded as a sure sign of an internal imbalance.

The two main causes

Dry eyes are primarily caused by two things: too little oil production by the glands, or too much evaporation of the tears. Usually people are affected by both causes.

Obviously, if your lifestyle includes hours of staring into a computer screen, or gazing into a microscope, your eyes can become dry. Lasik surgery also can cause dry eyes because the nerves are cut, thus affecting the stimulus to blink and produce tears.

Diets low in fatty acids also fail to provide the needed nutrients for the oil in tears. Medication can also have the same affect.

Menopause, hormones and dry eyes

During menopause, the hormones responsible for lubrication in your body begin to diminish. This explains the vaginal dryness, dryness of the joints, and dry eyes. Too little estrogen, testosterone and progesterone is being produced, and the result is the various symptoms of menopause.

When the hormones are in balance, your eyes are clear, bright and full of life. When they are out of balance, it is often plainly visible in the eyes. There is a reason for such expressions as, The eyes are the window into the soul. Very often, when a person is depressed, it is plainly evident by their eyes.

What can you do to get rid of dry eyes naturally?

One of the recommended treatments for dry eyes is to have a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. This is usually done by eating certain fish and nuts. Many women also supplement their diet with fish oil to get the Omega-3 fatty acids. This is a very simple and inexpensive way to find menopause relief.

This often has the result of helping the entire body become lubricated. The dry eyes disappear, the creaky joints become more supple and the vaginal dryness is reduced. This is so much more beneficial that simply taking some drops or blocking the drainage!

By approaching health in a holistic manner, the entire person is viewed as a whole. Everything is related, and a lack in one area might easily show up in a seemingly unrelated manner. Yet, this is how nature is, one beautiful cycle of life and healing.

Dry Eyes – Early Menopause

Dry eyes are the least likely symptom of early menopause and menopause that you would think of. It is not often mentioned as being a menopausal symptom most of the time. Menopausal and post-menopausal women often complain of dry eyes but it is with some
‘digging’ that a connection might be made. There are symptoms and causes of dry eye. There are treatments for early menopause symptoms including dry eye.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Though dry eyes are not usually connected to menopause, it will take some checking things out to determine this. Symptoms include itchiness, scratchiness, grittiness, and/or tears running down your cheeks. Your eyes may get more ‘tired’ throughout the day, become irritated from smoke, wind, or air movement and you may get stringy mucus in the eye. Light sensitivity, blurriness, and problems with your contacts may occur.

If dry eyes are not treated, your eyes could become ulcerated, the cornea can be scarred, or they may become seriously infected.

Causes of Dry Eye

There are two main reasons for dry occurring. The Meibomian Gland (in the inner eyelids), does not have enough oil being produced or the watery tears may evaporate too quickly. Most people have both low production of oil and excessive evaporation of tears.

There are lifestyle events that might contribute to having dry eye. When you are looking at a computer screen or reading a book and you don’t blink enough to spread the eye fluid may cause dry eye. Other life events that may be connected to dry eye include wearing contacts that absorb fluids, having Lasik surgery, which cuts nerves and reduces your impulse to blink, and taking some medications such as allergy medications diuretics – birth control pills can dry out your eyes also.

A fatty acid deficiency or a deficiency of anti-inflammatory foods and auto immune diseases such as Diabetes, Arthritis, and Lupus may also cause dry mouth.

Dry eyes may affect you if you are in perimenopause, specifically because this is the time when hormones do the most fluctuation. The greater the estrogen in your system, the less tear production you will have. There is a definite hormonal connection to dry eyes and hormonal imbalances.

The inflammation of dry eye may be connected to an overall minor inflammation. An inflammation will absorb any lubricants including eye fluids. This is a belief of TCM – traditional Chinese medicine that also holds that your purest energy is shown in your eyes. If there is any imbalance or deficiency, it will show in your eyes. In TCM the liver (a detoxifying organ) rules the eyes. Increased intake of fatty acids such as Omega 3’s that can be found in fish such as mackerel, tuna, or wild salmon can be beneficial for this. It can also be found some seeds and nuts. Omega 3’s help relieve inflammation, aid tear production, and aid in oil production in your tears.

Treatments of Early Menopause Dry Eyes

Artificial tears (eye drops) are the usual treatment for early menopause dry eyes. Eat a diet that includes Omega 3 fatty acids that can be found in fish, nuts, and seeds, and if necessary, natural supplements can benefit dry eyes and your over-all health. Make sure your hormones are balanced; this will likely be determined by a physical exam and blood work.

Have your doctor review your medications to see if a medication might not be contributing to your dry eyes. Try to avoid anything that might be irritating to your eyes such as smoke.

Blink – it is important for your eye health. Keep your body hydrated by drinking water, pure juices, milk, and herbal teas. A humidifier may help.
Take good care of your contacts if you wear them.

Natural herbal supplements may also benefit dry eyes because they are effective in relieving early menopausal symptoms. To be of high quality they should be made of standardized herbal extracts and be extensively tested to ensure quality, safety, effectiveness, and purity.


Early menopause dry eyes are often attributed to anything but menopause. With a little searching and life style inventory, your dry eyes might be connected to your menopause.

You may have itchy, gritty, redness, and irritated eyes. Treatments may include artificial tears, hydration, and including Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet may add lubrication to your eyes. There is a belief in Traditional Chinese Medicine that says the eyes will show imbalances because they channel your purest energy. The liver – the detoxification organ rules the eyes. Early menopause dry eyes are a real symptom of menopause.

Do You Suffer From Dry And Sticky Eyes?

Many people suffer from dry eyes in varying degrees of severity.

The symptoms can range from occasional and mild inconvenience to waking up to the eyelids stuck together and even adhering to the eye surface with acute discomfort lasting all day.

In order to determine possible causes and treatment it is necessary to have an understanding of how the surface of the eyes function.

Eyes are dependent upon tears to keep them constantly moist and lubricated to maintain comfort and vision.

Tears consist of water to keep the eye surface moist, oils for essential lubrication, mucus to allow the tears to spread evenly over the surface and antibodies together with certain proteins that resist and fight infection.

Glands around the eye secrete these complex tears and if there is a dysfunction then the symptoms of dry eyes will appear.

Probably the most confusing symptom is the occurrence of excessively watery eyes when tears pour down the cheeks.

In this case the tears will consist almost entirely of water and lacking the necessary components to lubricate the eye surface.

It seems a contradiction but excessive tears are a symptom of dry eyes and are a result of a distress signal sent by the eyes to the nervous system that they are not obtaining sufficient lubrication.

All these excessive tears are capable of is washing away some wastes from the eye surrounds and without the oils and mucus they do not coat and moisturize the eye effectively.

Apart from excessive watering, other symptoms of dry eyes are pain, in and around the eyes, a sensitivity to light, grittiness in the eye, itching, redness, or blurry vision.

Causes of dry eyes

  • sensitivity
  • air conditioning or other dry air environments
  • hay fever and other allergies
  • natural aging processes
  • menopause
  • side effects from certain medications
  • a number of diseases and problems with the structure of the eyes.

A severe dry eye reaction in the eyes is one of the symptoms of Sjogren’s syndrome and is mostly accompanied by an excessively dry mouth.
It is a difficult disease to diagnose correctly despite a reasonably high incidence of varying intensity among adults.

Although there is no cure, relief through regular medication is obtainable.

Dry eye syndrome cannot be cured but artificial teardrops and lubricating ointments can relieve the symptoms but it is important to keep to regular applications even if your eyes feel fine.

Eyes can dry out while you sleep so remember to apply a lubricant at bedtime.

Other treatments include the temporary or permanent blocking of the ducts that drain the eyes and, surgery, and prescription medications as advised by your eye specialist.

If you find that the discomfort from sticky eyelids on waking and excessive tears is increasing accompanied by a dry mouth then be persistent with your medical adviser and ask for a referral to a specialist.

You might be suffering from early stage Sjogren’s syndrome and as we have already mentioned it is difficult to diagnose.

What Is The Cause Of Dry Eyes

The dry eyes cause can come from many environmental aspects, aging, contact lenses and some eye health problems. If you find yourself with a problem with your eyes, you should consult a doctor if you have not figured out why this is occurring. You might need special medicated eye drops or some other type of help with the problem. If it is environmental, you might need to change the way you do some things.

Environmental conditions can cause dry eyes. If you spend time in the sun without sunglasses or some other form of eye protection, you can dry the cornea, which in turn is a dry eyes cause. Windy days can cause debris and other particles to blow into your eyes, thus wearing eye protection in needed. The heat from a hair dryer, sitting in front of a fan and driving with your window open can cause the dry eye problem. You need to be aware of your surrounding to protect your eyes from drying out and becoming irritable. This will cause itching, which can scratch the inside of the eye.

Another dry eyes cause is aging. In some adults, aging gradually causes the tear ducts to slow down or stop producing tears, which will dry the eyes. This medical condition needs to be taken care of by a doctor. The optometrists will perform a dry eye test to see the extent of your condition. You might have to use special medicated drop to keep your eyes moist. This will usually continue for life. Some babies are born without tear ducts functioning properly and need special drops to keep the eyes moist to prevent vision problems that results from lack of moisture in the eyes.

Dry eyes cause does not stop with environmental and aging, it also can come from wearing contact lenses. If you wear hard contact lenses, your eyes more than likely dry out from lack of oxygen getting behind the contact. If you wear soft contact lenses that contain more water than others do, they tend to evaporate quicker and cause oxygen to stop reaching the cornea behind the contact. If you wear contacts, you need to use proper contact solution and eye drops to keep the contacts moist as well as the eyes.

As you can see, dry eyes cause come from many different things and no one is completely free from dry eyes. If you have problems with dry eyes for a long time, you do risk having serious problem with your eyesight including, but not limited to, blurred vision, loss of vision and content itching of the eye. If you have dry eyes, it is important to seek medical advice. Your vision is a sense that you need, if you neglect the signs and symptoms you could risk this valuable sense. There is help for many eye problems and dry eyes can be helped.