Ocular Surface Disorders
Dry eye syndrome is a multifactorial chronic disorder produced by 2 main causes: the insufficient production of tears – Aqueous Deficiency, or the evaporation of normally produced tears- Evaporative Dry eye, predominantly caused by abnormally functioning Meibomian glands. Meibomian glands are present in the lids and produce an oily secretion which normally prevents the tears from evaporation. Inflammation of these glands produces Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Symptoms of dry eye include grittiness, burning, redness, and severe cases may also have blurring of vision.
It is commonly seen in chronic contact lens users, computer users, and also in post menopausal females, or patients with underlying autoimmune disorders e.g. Rheumatoid Arthritis
The treatment of Dry eyes is to target the underlying cause. Mild cases can be treated with lubricating eye drops, gels/ointments. Occasionally one may require Punctal plugs which are small silicon inserts into the draining ducts of the eye, thus increasing the tear film height in the affected eye. Patients with underlying autoimmune disorders may manifest with a reduction in the amount of tears being produced- Aqueous Tear Deficiency Dry Eye. These patients require co-management of the immunological disorder.
Pterygium is a a wing shaped growth of the conjunctiva onto the cornea. It is commonly seen in equatorial regions due to exposure to UV-rays. Occasionaly it may get inflamed, manifesting with redness and itching in the eyes. It can be surgically removed if it produces deterioration in vision, is very fleshy, or for cosmetic reasons
Stevens Johnson Syndrome is a life threatening disorder which can result as a reaction to certain medications. In the eyes, it produces a severe form of dry eye due to damage to the ocular surface, and can be sight threatening.