Q and A: Effects of fasting on the eyes during the month of Ramadan.
1- Does fasting affect the eyes?
Due to low intake of water during the day, some changes in the eyes can be seen in fasting patients during Ramadan when compared to other days.
2- What is commonly noted in fasting patients during Ramadan?
Dry eyes and tears dysfunctions as a consequence of decreased water intake and extra salt, fats, cholesterol, protein and sucrose.
3- What are the preventative measures for, and the treatment of, these conditions?
Measures include a balanced diet after breaking the fast, good water intake, use of appropriate sunglasses and avoiding exposure for long periods of time to dry hot weather and sunlight.
Warm compresses once or twice daily could help improve tear film quality.
Medical treatment includes the use of artificial tears and lubricants, however those need to be determined and prescribed by a doctor.
4- How should a patient use prescribed eye drops during the month of Ramadan?
Whenever possible we modify the use of eye drops in a way that suits the fasting patient. In case eye drops are needed during fasting hours, we advise the patient to apply some pressure at the inner corner of the eye to prevent passage of the medication to the lacrimal system and therefore to the throat.
Frequent eye examinations are recommended in cases where potential damage to the eye is suspected.