Are you dealing with scratchy, uncomfortable dry eyes?
Dry eye is not fun, but you’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from dry eye every year, վստահ we’m sure you have a lot of questions. What is the reason for that? Do I need to see a doctor? What are the best remedies for dry eyes?
Here’s everything you need to know.
Your eyes at a glance
Most people do not think about their eyes until they have a reason for it, usually when they notice discomfort. But the eye is one of the most complex organs in the human body.
This inch-long regiment detects light, converts it into electrical signals, which are then sent to the brain so that it can interpret what you are looking at. Think of it as a visual phone game or a photo shoot.
The front of your eye (consisting of the iris, cornea, lens, pupil) is filtered under light; the image focuses on the membrane behind the eye, called the retina. This membrane sends electrical signals to the optic nerve, which then sends them to the brain so that you can understand what you are seeing.
Because it is made of several different layers, your eye needs to stay oily to function at full capacity.
What is a dry eye?
Dry eye (also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is a condition that occurs when your eyes do not get enough moisture. Without proper lubrication, they can experience itching, which is often accompanied by a burning sensation or vision problems. Dry eye can be caused by several factors (more on that later), but it is usually the result of decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation. This means that your eyes do not shed enough tears or the quality of your overall tears does not match the speed.
What are tears?
Tears are a nourishing liquid made from water, fat, proteins and mucus that help your eyes function. Tears are produced by the glands above your eyes, lubricating the surface of the eyes, nourishing the tissue, eliminating possible irritants, which also reduces the risk of infection.
Symptoms of dry eye
If you think you may have dry eyes, some of these symptoms may seem familiar to you.
- Feeling of scratching or stinging in your eyes
- Redness of the eye
- Pure mucus
- Increased light sensitivity
- Difficulty driving at night
- Blurred or impaired vision
- Water the eyes
Wait, that said watery eyes. Yes, watery eyes are a side effect of dry eye that many do not expect. It may seem strange, but sometimes the body’s response to eye irritation is overstated by the production of tears. However, in many cases, these tears are more about quantity than quality.
What causes dry eye?
Usually, problems with dry eyes lead to functionality. Maybe your glands do not produce enough tears, or the type of tears you produce does not lubricate your eyes enough.
Factors that contribute to dry eyes include:
- Environmental conditions such as dry air, heat և smoke
- Previous health problems such as: diabetes or autoimmune disorders
- Medications, like some treatments acne, depression or: blood pressure
- Tear duct infection or inflammation
- Too much time on the screen, which can lead to infrequent blinking
- Laser eye surgery և other procedures
While anyone can develop dry eye, people over 65 are more likely to experience it as part of the aging process. Studies also show that women are more sensitive to hormonal changes. People who wear contact frequently, who wear it for a long time are also more likely to develop dry eye.
Can dry eyes cause blurred vision?
Yes, dry eyes can cause blurred vision. It is a relatively common symptom and is often accompanied by some of the others listed above. However, sometimes blurred vision can be a sign of something more serious. If your blurred vision lasts all day or you experience other symptoms such as floating spots, dizziness or double vision, See your doctor.
Is chronic dry eye dangerous?
In some cases it may be. Tears protect your eyes from the buildup of bacteria, and without that protective layer of tears, you increase your risk of infection. Excessive tearing of the tears and dryness can lead to scratches or scars on the surface of the cornea, as well as the possibility of developing an eye ulcer.
Does this mean that dry eye can cause blindness? It may or may not be possible. While there are many ways this condition can affect your eyesight, it is incredibly rare for a dry eye to cause complete blindness.
Treatment of dry eyes
Depending on your symptoms, dry eye can be treated without prescription drugs, home remedies or treatment by a doctor.
Eye drops և artificial tears
When you look at eye drops, you will find that you can buy a variety of over-the-counter options. The two largest categories are standard eye drops with no preservatives. Standard eye drops use preservatives to fight bacteria, but if you find them more irritating to your eyes, eye preservatives without preservatives may be a good choice, especially if you use them often.
Protect your eyes from dry conditions
For many, a dry eye can have an impact. Is your home air conditioner too dry? Are you constantly exposed to heat or smoke? If you can, get out of these situations as soon as possible. You can install a small humidifier to return moisture to the air in your home or wear sunglasses when you go out on windy days.
Take a breath from the screens
We know screen time is a necessity these days. However, too much time looking at the screen of a computer or phone blinks less time, which can really strain your eyes. If you have to plug in for a long time, remember the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something at least 20 feet away. This should help relax your eyes.
Discover treatment options with your doctor
Not only can your doctor suggest a thorough examination to find out what can cause dry eyes, he or she can also suggest different treatments depending on your needs. This includes anti-inflammatory drugs, inserts, medicated eye drops, customized lenses, and more practical procedures that can help with problems with the eyelids, glands, and tear ducts.
When should you call your doctor?
Managing dry eye is not always easy, sometimes you need a little help. If you have tried several solutions at home, և everything does not seem to be improving, it may be time to see your doctor, especially if you experience more intense symptoms such as increased yellow mucus, excessive drainage, prolonged dizziness or other issues.
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