What is Dry Eye ?
Millions of people around the world suffer from dry eyes. Many of those who experience the symptoms of dry eyes don’t realize the cause.
What Causes Dry Eyes ?
Dry eyes are a result of either:
a. Low quantity of tears – not being lubricated enough . Some causes include:
- hormones, especially common in post-menopausal women.
- some medical conditions e.g. diabetes, thyroid disorder
- certain medications e.g. anti histamines, diuretics, decongestants
- eye surgery,
- damage to the tear gland,
b. Low quality of tears.
What are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
- Burning or stinging sensation in your eyes,
- persistent dryness, a sensation of having something like a grain of sand stuck in your eye,
- a feeling of pressure behind the eye,
- eye redness,
- sensitivity to light,
- blurred vision at the end of the day
Dry, windy, or dusty environments usually exacerbate these symptoms. Dry eye causes discomfort and leads to irritated eyes.
Visit your eye care provider if you experience any of the above symptoms.
Contact Lenses & Dry Eyes
Long-term use of contact lenses causes dry eyes because they decrease the sensitivity of the corneal nerves within the eye. This causes less tears to be produced. Attention: This effect is usually temporary.
Selecting the right contact lenses is crucial :
Switching to Daily disposable contact lenses
Use lubricating drops specifically formulated for contact lens wearers
What to To Do If You Think You Have Dry Eyes
- Blink while staring at the computer, reading.
- Use Lubricating drops
- Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet , eat foods like oily fish, seeds, nuts and leafy green vegetables.
- Maintaining good eye health and hygiene can help, Using hypoallergenic lid-cleansing wipes
- Stop smoking
- If you’re using an air conditioner or heater for long periods of time, you may want to leave a bowl of water out so as to keep the area humid.
- Sleep does alleviate symptoms of this condition since it gives the body time to coat the eye with tears!