Dry Eyes: Symptoms, Causes, Solution & Prevention
Know more about the dry eye syndrome. What solutions can be made to manage this condition? Read more.
Blinking is our eyes’ natural way of cleansing as our eyes produce tears. The tear film consists of three different layers - lipid (oil), aqueous (water) and mucin (mucus) layer. Each layer plays an important role in lubricating, providing nutrients and protecting our eyes against environmental conditions.
Anything that hinders the production of tears can result in dry eyes. Dry eyes is a common condition experienced by most people. The discomfort and irritation caused by dry eyes when left untreated may hinder one’s daily activities and lifestyle.
So how do you know if you have dry eyes? How does it develop and what can you do to keep it at bay?Symptoms
You may be experiencing dry eyes if you start noticing any of the following symptoms.
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye redness
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty driving at night
- Blurred vision
- Eye fatigue
- Irritation in the eyes such as stinging, scratchy feeling, or burning sensation
- Mucus in or around the eyes
- Watery eyes
Dry eyes may be triggered by any of the following causes.
- Menopause or absence of menstrual periods
- Decrease in tear production
- Medical conditions such as lupus, diabetes, thyroid disorders, etc.
- Medications such as antihistamines, decongestants, etc.
- Environmental factors — temperature, humidity, air-conditioning etc.
- Wearing of contact lenses
- Excessive exposure to screen
- Incomplete blinking
What measures can be made to keep dry eyes at bay? Take note of the following.
1. Protect your eyes. In places that are windy, it is advised that you wear wraparound sunglasses that reduces the chance of wind and other foreign particles being blown directly into your eyes. This will also help prevent your eyes from drying.
Take note: Directly exposing your eyes to fans and hair dryers can also contribute to dry eyes.
2. Stay away from cigarette smoke. First hand or second hand- smoke can both be dangerous to your eyes as it can cause irritation.
3. Rest and blink. Your eyes need their rest. Whether you spend an entire day in front of a computer, reading a book, or watching television, your eyes deserve some rest. It is also recommended that your computer screen is placed at below eye level as to not force your eyes to open wider in order to view the screen.
4. Use eye drops.There are “artificial tear” eye drops that keeps our eyes hydrated and lubricated. There are two types of eye drops, those with preservatives and those without.
- a. With preservatives — Preservatives are added to eye drops to prevent bacteria growth. While this may be very helpful, this can also be irritating to some people. This is not recommended for those with a more serious condition.
- b. Without preservatives — This is often packaged in a single-use container. They are recommended for people with moderate to severe conditions.
5. Consume omega-3 fatty acids. According to research, eating food that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids relieves symptoms of dry eyes. It is known to reduce the inflammation in our body, which facilitates tear production.
6. Make use of humidifiers.The atmosphere inside your home may be a bit too dry for your eyes, which can cause dry eyes. By using a humidifier, it allows the environment to be moist.
7. On contact lenses usage.Don’t wear contact lenses for too long. They dry out the eyes. Always remember to keep them clean and to always wash your eyes to ensure cleanliness. Also, you’re dealing with an object that has direct contact with your eyes. Keeping both hands and lenses clean is a must.
Eye care is a serious matter because they can result to serious health problems if taken lightly. If dry eyes is already taking a toll on your productivity, it is best to consult with an optometrist. I-Vision offers dry eyes assessment and management that will help your treat you condition.
For more details about this service, head on to http://i-vision.com.sg/services. You may also book an appointment today by giving us a call at +65 6802 4726.