Dry eye is only a small and temporary problem, but it can be highly uncomfortable, and sometimes can have a significant impact on your daily life by preventing you from being productive in your day life.
Dry eye disease, or dry eye syndrome, is a highly common condition that occurs. It occurs when your eyes are incapable of producing the right amount of tears- that make your eyes moist, or if those tears evaporate too quickly it may have a lasting beneficial effect.
“When the eyes cannot produce tears as they should this leads to the eye drying out, and a sensation of inflammation, irritation, and discomfort.”- Dr Dorio
THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF IMPORTANT FACTS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT DRY EYES:
1. WHAT CAUSES DRY EYES VARY
The symptoms of dry eye are far more complex than a “dry sensation”. These symptoms can appear either quite gradually or suddenly, and can last for a period of hours, or even days. Common symptoms of dry eye include:
• eye pain
• feeling of grit in eye
• swollen eyes
• excessive tear production
• itchy eyes
• twitching eyelids
Most people aren’t aware that frequent eye watering is actually one of the most common symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome.
2. SMOKING CAN CAUSE DRY EYES
The best way to reduce the chance of dry eyes and other eye problems is to cut out smoking from your daily habits. When you smoke, the dangerous chemicals in cigarettes can get into your blood stream and damage your eyes, placing you at higher risk of problems like dry eyes and cataracts.
This unhealthy habit can also increase your chances of macular degeneration, which is a condition that can completely destroy the vision in the center of your eyes.
3. WHAT YOU EAT MATTERS
You have heard this advice before, but there is a real correlation between your eye health and your diet. It is recommended that incorporating green leafy vegetables into your diet because they are are full of zeaxanthin and lutein, which reduce your risk of eye diseases. Vitamin A, which can be found in bright orange and yellow vegetables, is ideal for improving eye health. Fruits that contain vitamin C and antioxidant fight off eye disease. Cold-water fish and salmon also include plenty of omega-3 which is an essential vitamin for the causation of tear production.
4. PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM THE SUN
One easy way to prevent dry eye syndrome is to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s strong rays. Any modern sunglasses that you can buy should have complete protection against both UVB and UVA waves. Remembering to protect your eyes on bright sunny days, will have a positive impact on your long term eye health.
5. CERTAIN DISEASES CAN CAUSE DRY EYES
Although there are many factors that can contribute to dry eyes, certain diseases are common causes, and numerous conditions cause dry eye as a side effect. For example, Sjorgen’s syndrome is a devastating, yet non-life-threatening disease that causes excessive dryness within your entire body.
The victims of this disease are typically women, and often Sjorgen’s is frequently misdiagnosed as menopause. Other diseases that may cause dry eye syndrome include:
• rheumatoid arthritis
• dry tear film
• collagen vascular disease
• rosacea, blepharitis, meibomitis
• congenital eye problems
If you believe you may be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome, it is important to reach out to medical professionals. Our Team of Optometrists can provide the eye care that your eyes will take you for in the future.