Dubai, UAE: Dubai Hospital recently held an awareness campaign to educate the public about ‘dry eye’ an affliction which has affected approximately twenty to forty million people in the United States, with Europe close behind and Asia nearly double in prevalence.
Dr. Abdulrehman Al Jassmi, CEO of Dubai Hospital , inaugurated the campaign, saying, “The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness about the disease so that people can visit the ophthalmologist in time and seek treatment. Timely management helps control the condition and improves the patient’s quality of life.” Dr. Abdulla Naqi, consultant ophthalmologist and acting head of the ophthalmology department, said that dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when a person’s tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for the eyes. The symptoms of dry eye usually include stinging or burning eyes, itching, sensitivity to bright light and excess tearing.
Dr. Naqi said that if those who experience such symptoms should visit the ophthalmologist because dry eyes is easily treatable. He said, “First, any inflammation that is causing dryness is treated through medications. The hard conditions, due to the high temperatures and the constant and high air flow of the air conditioning systems do allow the tears to evaporate from the surface of the eyes. “Treatment for dry eyes includes using artificial tears, as eye drops, during the day. Ointments can add extra moisture to the eyes at night. Other treatments include using hot compresses and eyelid scrubs.” Naqi added that in severe cases, conserving the patient’s tears is another approach that is used to keep the eyes moist. Tears drain out of the eye through a small channel into the nose. An ophthalmologist may close these channels either temporarily or permanently.” Naqi said that blinking the eyes is a natural way of lubrication and people should blink their eyes regularly especially since they work in an air-conditioned environment. “A normal person blinks around 12 to 14 times per minute. The simple act of blinking reduces dry eye symptoms by flushing fresh tears over the eye, re-moisturising and keeping foreign matter and irritants out. However, despite regular blinking, patients with dry eyes will experience symptoms such as stinging or burning eyes, itching, sensitivity to bright light and excess tearing. They should visit an ophthalmologist to seek treatment.”
© Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2015Aug 2015