Today, it is estimated that nearly 1.4 billion people worldwide suffer from dry eye syndrome. It is a disease with a variety of symptoms such as a foreign body sensation, a feeling of having sand in the eye, tingling, stinging, tearing (epiphora), discomfort, redness of the eye, occasional blurred vision and hypersensitivity to light. Dry eye can seriously impair the quality of life and at the same time make it more difficult for patients with glaucoma to treat it. The reason is that the use of antiglaucoma drops exacerbates the symptoms of dry eye, which can be so pronounced that patients most often decide to discontinue therapy, and this can lead to serious consequences for vision. Antiglaucoma drops contain active ingredients and excipients, while some contain preservatives. Preservatives, such as benzalkonium chloride, keep the drops sterile, but at the same time these contribute to damage to the eye surface and tear film, thus worsening the symptoms of dry eye. Cooperation between the patient and the ophthalmologist is crucial for the proper treatment of both conditions.
Glaucoma must be treated to prevent blindness, and dry eye syndrome must be treated to preserve eye surface health, quality of vision and life. Treatment for patients with glaucoma and dry eye syndrome usually involves the use of eye drops, and choosing the best combination is key to success. Numerous preservative-free antiglaucoma drops are available on the market today and are prescribed to these patients as well as to patients before undergoing glaucoma surgery. In addition to antiglaucoma therapy, patients are prescribed daily use of preservative-free artificial tears and regular eyelid hygiene to treat dry eye syndrome. To reduce the environmental factors that contribute to the worsening of dry eye symptoms, it is advisable to humidify your room, avoid spending long hours at the computer, maintaining proper air conditioning and space heating. This improves the condition of the ocular surface, which is very important for the outcome of any potential surgical treatment of glaucoma.