About 20 million people suffer from dry eye syndrome in the United States. Health care practitioners expect that dry eye syndrome will increase in presence because our world population is aging. Also, all of us are looking at computer screens more and more. Constantly checking our smartphones, digital watches, and tablets. All of these activities can be associated with dry eyes.
Understanding the Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which your eyes do not produce enough tears to nourish and lubricate the front part of your eye. Tears are made of hundreds of different types of molecules that include vitamins, lysozymes ( natural antibiotics), minerals, as well as water, mucus, and oil.
Tear production slows down as we age. At age 60, we have 60 percent less tear volume than we do at 18 years old. Often, a lot of new medical conditions show up as we get older. Many autoimmune conditions have dry eye syndrome as a part of their disorder. Both those medical conditions and medicines that are taken to treat them can cause dry eyes. Certain environments, such as dry or windy climates, can also decrease the volume of tears or make the tears evaporate at a much faster rate.
Quality or Quantity?
Although the quantity of tears is very important, you can also have dry eyes if the quality of your tears is not good. Having a healthy tear is needed to maintain a clear vision. Having tears with too much mucus or oil is just as bad as having a decreased volume of water in your tears.
Certain components of your tears are needed to keep your tear film stable. The layer of oil of the tears reduces the evaporation rate of the water layer. Some conditions can cause an imbalance in the oil layer of tears. The layer of mucus is what helps to keep the tears bound to the surface of the eye. This type of dry eye is usually referred to as an evaporative dry eye.
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Lifitegrast as a Treatment
For a lot of years, the only cure that was a direct treatment of dry eye was Restasis. However, in 2016 Xiidra appeared in the market. Xiidra is the first in a new class of medicine that is called lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 antagonist.
What does all this mean? Xiidra or Lifitegrast treats the dry eye by blocking and disrupting the inflammatory cascade that is responsible for all your symptoms and eye surface changes that are associated with dry eye syndrome. Inflammation is what makes having dry eye unbearable. The stinging, burning and redness are signs of inflammation and that is what makes it hurt. In some studies, symptoms, and signs after using Lifitegrast improve in as little as two weeks.
Is Xiidra FDA Approved?
Xiidra has been properly tested and has been approved by the FDA as a safe product for your overall health while treating your symptoms of a dry eye syndrome