Dry eyes can also cause discomfort during the allergy season. Dry eye syndrome is associated with tear film deficiency
The typical symptoms of dry eye include a feeling of dryness and burning in the eyes and feeling as though there is something in the eye. People experience these symptoms especially in the winter, when the humidity level is low both indoors and outdoors. In addition to low humidity level, dry eye is associated with, for example, refractive surgery of the eye, prolonged digital screen use, use of contact lenses, and certain diseases and medications. The symptoms are not limited to winter time, and people who have allergies, in particular, also experience them during the pollen season in the spring and summer.
Dry eye is associated with tear film deficiency affecting the composition of the layers of the tear film covering the ocular surface. The lacrimal glands do not produce enough tears or the composition of the other parts of the tear film causes excessive tear evaporation or prevents the tears from spreading evenly across the surface of the eye. As a result, tear osmolarity (concentration) increases, inflammatory properties are activated, and the person experiences the above-mentioned symptoms, which, at worst, can severely diminish their quality of life.
Not just a problem for the dry winter season
An important function of the tear film is to protect the ocular surface. Tear film deficiency exposes the ocular surface to external factors such as allergens and air pollution more than usual. Studies have suggested that people who suffer from allergic eye infections have similar changes in the composition of their tear film as people who have dry eye.
During the allergy season, dry eye symptoms can also be caused by several medications that are commonly used to treat allergies. Antihistamines affect the secretion of aqueous humour and the regulation of its outflow, which in turn affect the composition of the tear film. In clinical trials, many oral antihistamines, in particular, have been found to have the effect of increasing dry eye.
In addition to the dry winter season, tear film lubrication should also be remembered in the summer by anyone who has problems during the pollen season and takes allergy medication, which may increase the feeling of dryness in the eyes and cause tear film dysfunction. In a clinical trial, the intake of SBA24 sea buckthorn oil (Membrasin Vision Vitality Capsule*) has shown beneficial effects on tear film composition and the sensations in the eyes. Membrasin Vision Vitality Spray, which contains sea buckthorn oil, can bring quick relief to the symptoms of dry eye.
*Dietary supplement: contains beta-carotene, a source of vitamin A that supports the maintenance of normal vision. Vitamin E helps protect cells from oxidative stres