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  1. Can it cause vision problems?

The tear film forms the first optical surface of the eye. If it changes or breaks faster than normal (that's why we blink more or less every 20 seconds), that will have an impact on visual quality. The most severe forms of dry eye, although rare, can cause alterations of the cornea and significant loss of vision.

  1. Does everyone suffer it?

To say that the dry eye is a frequent cause of consultation does not mean that it is universal,  but it is true that with age, we are all losing a bit of quantity and quality in the tear.

  1. What relationship exists between the TRPM8 protein and the dry eye?

It is about the protein that forms the cold receivers in the sensory nerve endings, which are those that in the cornea detect when a dry point occurs, which stimulates the flicker reflex and restores the tear film. Recently the use of TRPM8 agonists has been proposed to alleviate discomfort caused by the dry eye.

  1. Can dry eye be cured?

The most common  type  of dry eye depends on many factors, both internal and external, which give rise to symptoms that can be very variable or seasonal. However, in general it is a chronic condition. In some cases it is possible to identify a cause that can be solved, such as stop taking a certain medication (sometimes unnecessary) or a palpebral alteration that can be corrected.

  1. Are the same eye drops and artificial tears? Are they completely innocuous?

Caution is understood as any liquid medication for ocular topical application. Artificial tears are not actually medications but oil lubricants based on polymers that retain water. They are completely safe if they do not carry preservatives and  you follow the instructions for use.

  1. Is there a more adequate treatment?

The treatment of the dry eye will depend on its type, cause and degree. In the most usual type there are a series of common staggered measures, such as first to provide humectants (artificial tears or gels without preservatives) with the appropriate frequency (which can be high). At more advanced levels, loss of tear can be limited, including tear drainage channels with stoppers, and even stimulating their production. Depending on the cause, there are more specific treatments such as antiinflammatory drugs (topical cyclosporin A), improve the condition of the eyelids or, if there is a systemic disease, treat it.

Prof. Rafael I. Barraquer