As its name implies, dry eyes refer to a condition where the tears are unable to provide sufficient lubrication for these globular organs. Some of the symptoms include but aren’t necessarily limited to discomfort, pain, increased light sensitivity, and blurred vision. This condition can range from mild cases that may still respond to OTC or over-the-counter medication and lifestyle changes to more severe ones that require specific procedures for treatment for dry eye .
This post will outline the causes and symptoms of dry eyes and cover the condition’s risk factors. It’ll also provide some information on how to prevent it from occurring in the first place.
Dry eye causes
Healthy eyes will have a thin layer of fluid covering their ocular surfaces called tear film that’s responsible not only for comfort but environmental, immunity, and mechanical protection too. It also forms a refractive and smooth surface for better vision. Dry eyes are generally caused by the insufficient production of tears and imbalance in its mixture that results in its quick evaporation. This disrupts the tear film and leads to the symptoms of the condition.
There are specific factors that could potentially increase the susceptibility or risk of a person developing dry eyes. Some of these risk factors are the following:
- Eyelid issues. Every time people blink, the eyelids spread thin films of tear on the eyes’ surfaces. Having problems with your eyelid can impact the motion of blinking that may spread your tear film unevenly. Some examples of this are ectropion, entropion, and blepharitis.
- Pre-existing medical conditions. Apart from eyelid problems, there are medical conditions that can keep tear production down. Examples include deficiency of vitamin A, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, and radiation therapy.
- Environment. Environmental factors can also impact your tear evaporation rate, such as windy, hot, or dry weather, air-conditioning and indoor heating, and smoke exposure.
- Medications. Lastly, there are certain types of medication that can contribute to or lead to the development of dry eyes. Antihistamines , some diuretics, decongestants, antidepressants, sleeping pills, and morphine are a few examples of medications that may cause dry eyes.
While there are factors that could result in dry eyes which we have little to no control over, there are still things we can do to reduce our chances of being afflicted by the condition. Here are a few preventative practices to keep in mind:
- Blink regularly if you’re reading or using your mobile device or computer for long periods.
- Wear sunglasses outdoors to keep your eyes protected from any climatic risk factors.
- Avoid being in outdoor environments that are dry.
- Increase humidity at home or work by using a humidifier.
Despite how common the condition is, having dry eyes isn’t easy. And depending on its severity, it can be downright unbearable. The good news is that there are many medications and treatment options that can alleviate the symptoms. You can also take preventative measures to lower your chances of developing the condition, so be sure to follow them closely.
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The information in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material on WE Magazine for Women is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for specific medical advice and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health-related programs including the use of dietary supplements or products.