Dry eye is caused by a lack of sufficient moisture and lubrication to the eyes. When this condition is chronic i.e. lasts for a long time, it is called dry eye syndrome. Usually, this condition is avoided thanks to our tears. Tears contain water to provide moisture, oils to provide lubrication, mucus for even spreading and antibodies to keep infections at bay. Dry eye is either the effect of tear glands of our eyes not working properly or is the cause of tear glands not working properly.
Dry eye syndrome is a progressive condition. Depending on the cause and severity, it may not be completely curable. But they are quite manageable.
The main cause of dry eyes is the lack of proper tear-flow system. In many cases, it is age-related. Conditions like menopause and other hormonal changes aggravate dry eye syndrome. Sometimes, the medications we take for other ailments like antihistamines can also hamper the tear-flow systems. Long exposure to blue light from computer and smartphones and activities such as reading and gaming that reduce blinking can also lead to dry eyes. Using contact lenses for an extended period time beyond the recommended hours or nor replacing them when the product has expired can also cause dry eyes.
Some of the symptoms of dry eyes include stinging and burning sensation, scratchy feeling, red eyes, and irritation. Some people find it very difficult to wear contact lenses as they increase the irritation inside the eyes. You tend to almost always have tears in your eyes since it is a defensive mechanism by the eyes. Consult an ophthalmologist if any of the above symptoms exist for an extended period of time.
People over the age of 50 are more at risk of developing dry eye syndrome. Similarly, women are also more at risk owing to the hormonal changes they go through during pregnancy and menopause. Some women are also at risk due to the use of contraceptive pills as they also alter the hormonal composition of their body. Our dietary habits can also have a huge influence on dry eye syndrome. If we are found lacking in Vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, we are more susceptible to dry eyes.
People with dry eyes are more susceptible to eye infections. The antibodies found in our tears act as huge protection against infections. Improper secretion of tears beats this purpose. The untreated condition of dry eyes may sometimes lead to inflammations, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcer, and vision problems. This is also aggravated by the use of unfit contact lenses.
This condition can be avoided by wearing protective eyewear like glasses and goggles when going out, staying hydrated, blinking as often as possible, avoiding long exposure to blue light, avoiding smoke and smoking and using eye drops prescribed by an ophthalmologist often to lubricate your eyes. If you are wearing lenses for vision correction, get them from a well-known manufacturer and try out different brands. If you are worried about the cost, check lens me for lens me honey to get quality lenses from high-end manufacturers at a more affordable price.
Dry eye syndrome has become nothing short of an epidemic all over the world, and it is important to protect our eyes from it so we can all lead a quality life.