What is dry eye?

Working with monitors, wearing masks, glasses and/or contact lenses, our environment with pollution, air conditioning, wind, dust... are all factors in our lifestyle that cause or accentuate dryness and irritation of the eyes.

Otherwise known as dry eye syndrome, dry eye occurs when tears no longer perform the role of preserving the tear film.

The two main causes of dry eye are:
- Lack of tears, either through insufficient production or too rapid evaporation,
- A tear film that is poorer in lipids. In this case, tears can be more abundant, sometimes even leading to a watery eye phenomenon, but they do not fully play their protective role.

Woman touching her eyes
Tear film diagram

THE LACRYMAL FILM, how does it work?

The tear film is composed of tears (water and sodium), mucus (protein) and lipids from small glands in the eyelids.

Through regular blinking movements, all these components mix and adhere to the surface of the eye to moisturise, lubricate and protect it.

But sometimes this delicate balance is disturbed and when the eye is no longer sufficiently hydrated, the feeling of discomfort and irritation is quickly felt.

The role of the eyelids

It is the eyelids that have these small glands (Meibomius glands) that permanently secrete the lipids that form the lubricating part of the tear film.

Numerous studies have highlighted the consequences of dysfunction of the Meibomian glands, which can lead to inflammation or associated diseases (e.g. blepharitis).

Dry eyes or irritated eyes? How do you know?


Triggers for dry eye

1. In the context of the low production of larmes

Hormonal imbalances, ageing, medication or certain autoimmune diseases are sometimes accompanied by a reduction in tear production.

Lack of Omega 3 in the diet is also a cause of depleted tear production.

Surgery can also lead to a lack of tears afterwards.

2. In the context of too rapid evaporation of tears

There are many causes that can trigger eye inflammation and dry eye. These include:

- Chronic inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis). In this case, the tear film is depleted of lipids and no longer has the necessary qualities to protect the surface of the eye

- Environmental factors: pollution, urban environments, smoke, air conditioning (e.g. driving at night on long journeys in an air-conditioned car is a factor in dry eyes)

- Wind, dust, pollen are sources of eye irritation that can cause intense itching and inflammation of the eyelids

- Prolonged work with screens, wearing contact lenses

- Wearing a mask, which mechanically causes dryness of the eye due to the breath that comes up to the eyes throughout the day

Woman who puts in a contact lens

Dry eye, is there a risk of complications?

Poor quality or insufficient tear film can lead to chronic inflammation of the eye.
Without specific treatment the surface of the eye can be damaged.
Dry eye symptoms can be experienced as a result of the effects of various factors.
Only a health professional can make a diagnosis by carrying out specific tests that allow the quality of the tear film to be assessed and to estimate the aggravation phenomena.
It is important to consult your ophthalmologist.

Wearing the mask

Wearing a mask is essential for barrier actions.

However, prolonged wearing of the mask can have a drying effect on the eye mechanically. The balance of the tear film is fragile. The air expelled behind the mask concentrates on the surface of the eye, causing tears to evaporate more quickly and leaving the surface of the eye drier.

The eyes may then show symptoms of dry eye: irritation, discomfort, watery eyes

Some tips

Carry out good daily eye hygiene.
Always use a clean mask.
Moisturise your eyes while respecting the preventive measures against COVID-19. INNOXA laboratoires eye sprays are designed to be applied with the eye closed or open, without touching the face.


Prolonged use of screens

It is common to hear contact lens wearers complain about dry eyes, or lack of tears.

Environmental factors should be considered: wind, dust, air conditioning, all bad reasons to make prolonged lens wear uncomfortable.

Some tips

Respect the wearing time of the lenses.
Observe impeccable eye and lens hygiene, having washed your hands beforehand.
Moisturise your eyes. INNOXA LABORATOIRES sterile eye spray for very dry and tired eyes is suitable for contact lens wearers. Its formula contains aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and vitamins E & B5.

Working with screens

Whether you work from home, work in an air-conditioned office, or play video games, screen time contributes to eye strain. Red and irritated eyes, burning or foreign body sensation, headaches, are all symptoms of eye fatigue.

Some tips

Take regular breaks to maintain good vision.
Moisturise your eyes.
INNOXA laboratoires sterile eye spray for red and irritated eyes is indicated when the eyes are sensitised by external factors.