Have you ever felt an uncomfortable itch or burning sensation in your eyes and just not known what to do about it? Maybe this itch has often been accompanied by blurry vision or eye fatigue. If that sounds like something you’re going through, the chances are that you have dry eye disease.
Dry eye disease occurs when your tear ducts don’t provide the sufficient amount of tears needed to lubricate your eyes. This results in dryness and inflammation, which further harms your eyes and causes you massive discomfort. Today we’re taking a look at some of the causes and consequences of dry eyes along with steps that you can take to prevent them from happening.
What causes dry eyes?
Aging is perhaps one of the most common reasons for dry eyes, with a whopping 4.88 million Americans above the age of 50 have experienced this condition. This is because the older you get, the more the volume of tears lining your eye’s surface declines.
Excessive screen time
People who spend most of their time glued to a screen are also likely to experience dry eyes. When you’re focused on a screen, you’re less inclined to blink often; hence your tears evaporate faster. Research in Japan from 2014 discovered that nearly one in every ten employees had dry eyes due to excessive use of computers.
An autoimmune disorder is a disease in which your immune system accidentally attacks your own body while trying to streamline the body’s functions. Conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome, lupus, arthritis, and diabetes play a significant role in reducing your tear production, resulting in dry eyes.
What happens if you have dry eyes?
Alongside experiencing significant discomfort, people with dry eye disease might suffer from an eye infection. If you don’t get your eyes treated properly on time, the inflammation in your eyes might cause severe damage to your corneal surface and corneal ulcers. Ultimately, this might result in vision loss. In the long run, this will hinder you from performing your everyday activities, such as reading or watching television.
What should you do if you have dry eyes?
If left untreated, dry eyes can undoubtedly evolve into a host of problems that will negatively impact both your health and your quality of life. However, there are several steps you can take to prevent this from happening.
- Use artificial tear drops regularly. You can use these drops four times a day at the most to make sure your eyes are adequately lubricated.
- Avoid the direction of air conditioners, heaters, fans, or hair dryers towards your eyes.
- If you’re in high altitude or arid conditions, blink rapidly now and then so that your tears are spread more equally on the surface of your eyes.
- Quit smoking.
If you’ve had any dry eye symptoms for a prolonged period, it would be best for you to get professional help. Our doctors at Superior Eye Care are always ready to solve your eye-related problems. So please drop by our clinics in Houston, Spring, and The Woodlands in Texas!