Narayana Nethralaya has set up a lab to diagnose and treat dry eyes. Dry eyes is a lifestyle disease caused by long-term exposure to computer screen, an official said Wednesday.
Touted to be Asia's first, the hi-tech lab analyses tears for imaging and understanding their pathology better.
"Dryness in eyes is caused by multiple factors such as exposure to computer screen for longer than six hours a day, leading to evaporative dryness and systemic diseases like diabetes, arthritis, medications and menopause," Nethralaya vice-chairman Rohit Shetty told reporters at a preview of the lab.
The most common cause is glands on eye lids getting blocked and causing meibomian gland dysfunction, which leads to dryness.
"The evaporative dry eye condition is commonly found among people in the age group of 18-45 years, while dryness is caused in the older age group because of systemic diseases," Shetty pointed out.
Long-standing dryness also causes ocular surface problems with chronic redness and irritation in eyes, leading to damage to their stem cells.
Set up at a cost of Rs.2.5 crore, the lab will treat patients with lid problems like meibomian gland dysfunction through thermal pulsation therapy, which will help pump good quality lipids to tears.
"Though dry eyes can be cured through lubrication, improving lid hygiene and treatment of systemic diseases, we present direct evaluation of tears called 'lipiview', which offers customised treatment to patients," Shetty said.
"Awareness of dry eyes is very limited even in a cosmopolitan city like Bangalore. Not many people are aware of the condition till they visit hospitals," Shetty said.