Dry eye is a very common problem, affecting more than 50 million people in the United States alone.
These conditions can be caused by anything from too much screen time to an underlying health issue like allergies or diabetes—or even something as simple and seemingly harmless such wearing contact lenses.
If you have trouble with dry eyes when reading signs on buildings or watching TV then please see your optometrist soon so that they may help treat this frustrating symptom before it gets worse which will also prevent permanent damage done to both vision and comfort level while eyelids continue struggling endlessly against all odds.
Keep on reading for our full breakdown of the key signs of dry eye syndrome and its causes.
Understanding Dry Eyes
Let’s start with the basics of dry eye syndrome. Basically, this condition comes from the lack of moisture in your eyes. It’s when your eyes fail in providing enough lubrication in the form of tears to stay healthy.
Tears provide moisture and lubrication to help you see and keep your peepers nice and comfortable. Tears will contain water, oils, antibodies, and even mucus to keep your eyes healthy and fight infection.
Ingredients are derived from glands in the eye’s outer rim. A malfunctioning tear system is commonly the cause of dry eyes.
You could notice if your tears aren’t providing enough moisture when you have:
- Feeling like there’s something in your eye
- A gritty feeling
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
Dry eyes might lead to excessive tears. Reflex tearing is the medical term for this problem. Your eye is irritated by the absence of moisture.
Your neurological system receives a distress signal, which prompts you to apply additional lubricant. Your body releases a torrent of tears in an attempt to compensate for the lack of moisture. Like when you get sand in your eye and it pours out, that’s what it looks like.
These tears, on the other hand, are mostly water, thus they don’t behave like typical tears. They can remove dirt and particles from your eyes, but they can’t protect them from the sun.
What Causes Dry Eyes
There are instances when your tear-flow system is out of whack.
Your tear film might also be dried out by the environment, such as an air conditioner or heater. There are a number of other possible reasons for this.
- Women’s menopause;
- the normal aging process
- Sjogren’s syndrome;
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other collagen vascular disorders.
Of course, it’s critical to get regular eye checkups for you and any kids you have, even if you feel like you’re not having any eye issues. You can learn more about the benefits of visiting an eye doctor in Lexington here.
Key Dry Eye Symptoms
Some of the signs and symptoms of dry eye disease can include the following:
- Red eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye fatigue
- Difficulty with nighttime driving or blurred vision
- Eyes watering
- End-of-day tension headaches
- Contact lens discomfort
- Neck and shoulder stiffness
If you or the kids have been dealing with similar symptoms, then you’ll want to schedule an appointment with an optometrist to make sure that you’re getting the care you need for your dry eyes.
Some People Are More at Risk
Dry eye disease is more common in women than men, and it increases with age.
A lack of vitamin A can also lead to dry eyes so be sure you’re getting plenty from carrots or kale. Omega-3 fatty acids have been proven effective for treating this condition as well.
They’re found naturally occurring within fish oils but are present at higher levels when eating walnuts – another great source–or flaxseed/chia seeds which both offer omega 3’s along with other nutrients too!.
Dry Eye Treatment Options
There are a number of options. You’ll want to ask your eye doctor what to do.
But, for now, here are the most common treatment options available to you.
Artificial Tear Drops and Ointments
For the most part, patients are put through this procedure.
Over-the-counter options abound when it comes to drops. You may have to test a few products before you find the one that works best for you. Using eye drops also when your eyes feel OK is necessary if you suffer from chronic dry eye.
You can use an ointment at bedtime if your eyes get dry when you sleep. Goggles that are airtight could be a good idea while you sleep. This will create an eye “moisture chamber.”
Temporary Punctal Occlusion
Your doctor may decide to close the punctum or duct where tears drain from your eye, as a last resort.
They might start with a temporary plug to dissolve over time. Your doctor will know whether permanent plugs are required based on how it functions.
Nondissolving Punctal Plugs
If the temporary plugs are effective, your doctor may progress to longer-lasting ones or simply go straight to a long-term plug.
Alternatively, they might go for cautery treatment. You may be given a medication that makes you sleepy, then use a special tool to seal the hole.
A plug is formed as a result of the scar. These methods add to your tear level by blocking the “drainpipe” through which tears normally travel from your eye to your nose.
Tear plugs are simple to remove; nevertheless, they can come out on their own or fall down the tear drain. They can help make your eyes feel better
Lipiflow is a treatment for blocked glands on the top and bottom of your eyelids that produce the oil in your tears.
In the simplest of terms, it keeps your eye wet and helps prevent your tears from evaporating.
A deficiency of testosterone in the oil glands on your eyelids might be the reason for dry eyes.
A testosterone cream may be prescribed to you by your doctor. It can improve the functioning of your oil glands.
Treating Dry Eye Syndrome: Seeing the Signs
Dry eye syndrome is a common problem that can cause discomfort and vision problems if left untreated. If you experience any of the signs or symptoms of dry eyes, it’s important to get regular checkups from an eye doctor to find out if you have the condition and start treatment.
For more information on dry eye syndrome and other common eye problems, check out our blog for more tips.