Dry eye is an eye disease that occurs when your tear ducts don’t provide the adequate amount of tears that is required to keep your eyes well-lubricated. The symptoms of this condition include burning or itching sensations in your eyes, sensitivity to light, red and sore eyelids, vision problems, discomfort while wearing contact lenses, and inability to drive at night properly.
You might be experiencing some or all of these symptoms due to either decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation. In this article, we’re diving into several of the reasons this might be happening for you.
Excessive use of screens
Whether it’s your mobile phone, your tablet, or your computer, if you spend most of your time with your eyes glued to their screens, you’re likely to experience dry eyes. This is because when you focus on a screen, you don’t blink as often as you should. This causes your tears to evaporate at an increasing rate, leaving your eyes dry and irritated.
Research has shown that symptoms of dry eyes often increase as you grow older since the volume of tears in your eyes declines with age. These studies have gathered that over 3 million American women and 1.68 million American men aged 50 and above have dry eye disease. Older women often experience dry eyes following menopause. As hormones play a vital role in the production of your tears, an imbalance in your hormones can directly lead to lower tear production.
Use of certain medications
The tears in your eyes are a mixture of water, oil, proteins, and mucus. Medications such as antidepressants, water pills, antihistamines, and beta blockers often end up restraining the production of mucus in your eyes, hence resulting in dry eyes. This is why people often use artificial tear drops along with their prescribed medicines.
Side effects of laser surgery
LASIK eye surgery is one of the most effective surgeries performed to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. One of the side effects of this surgery is a temporary decline in tear production which inherently leads to dry eyes. Usually this issue is resolved automatically within six months with the use of tear drops as prescribed by your eye doctor.
Autoimmune diseases are those conditions in which your immune system mistakenly attacks your own body. These include arthritis, diabetes, lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome. The last disease especially reduces your tear production since it causes your white blood cells to attack your salivary glands and tear glands. If eye drops don’t work, you might have to get surgery after consulting your optometrist to preserve your tears.
If you’re someone who has been struggling with prolonged symptoms of the dry eye disease, we highly recommend that you visit a professional. At Superior Eye Care, we have highly skilled staff with over two decades of work experience that can help you maintain your eye health. You can visit us at our clinics in Houston, Spring, or The Woodlands in Texas today.