dry eyes

The Causes and Symptoms of Dry Eyes and How to Treat It

Did you know that about 3.2 million American women over the age of 50 suffer from dry eyes? Another 1.68 million American men aged 50 and above have dry eyes.

Do you feel a stinging and burning sensation in the eyes? Does it feel like there’s a foreign object in your eyes? If so, you might be suffering from dry eyes!

Read this guide to learn more about dry eyes, their causes, and some effective ways that can help you treat them. 

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes occur when your tears don’t properly lubricate your eyes. This results in an irritating and painful sensation in your eyes that can cause serious conditions. In a worst-case scenario, dry eyes can lead to vision loss.

Our eyes are like machines that need oil, which in our case is the tears. So every time we blink, the glands above our eyes produce a tear film that spreads over our eyeballs. This protects and keeps our eyeballs moist, which improves our vision.

When an issue occurs with these glands and layers that protect the film of our eyes, dry eyes develop. Some of the symptoms of dry eyes include the following: 

  • A burning or stinging sensation in both eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Stringy mucus around or in your eyes
  • Constant watering of eyes
  • Eye fatigue or blurry vision 
  • Increased sensitivity to light, smoke, and wind
  • Double vision
  • Eyelids stick together when waking up 

If you notice these symptoms occurring, then it’s best to immediately confirm with your doctor. 

Who Are at a Risk of Developing Dry Eyes?

Women have a higher risk of developing dry eyes. This is because of hormonal changes that they experience during pregnancy and menopause. 

Moreover, the older we get, the fewer tears our eyes produce. As such, men and women in their 40s or 50s are at a high risk of getting dry eyes.

Further, people with autoimmune disease can develop Sjögren syndrome, which causes the body to attack fluid glands such as the glands that produce our tears. As a result, sufferers will likely have dry eyes.

The same thing can happen to a diabetic individual who experiences damage to their tear glands. In addition, individuals who have undergone laser eye surgeries are also at risk of having dry eyes.

Your environment can also increase your chances of getting dry eyes. For instance, if you live in hot areas, the temperature can make your tear evaporate more quickly.

Lifestyle also has an impact on your eyes. For example, if your work requires you to look at the computer screen for a long time, you’re at risk. 

When you look at computer screens, you blink less. As a result, your tears aren’t spread properly.

There are also cases where individuals ingest medications that obstruct tear production. This includes antihistamines, blood pressure, and decongestant medicines.

How to Treat Dry Eyes

You can try using over-the-counter eye treatments such as moisturizing teardrops. However, be careful of the solution you buy, as it might further irritate your eyes. It’s best to opt for a preservative-free artificial teardrop or solution.

There are also tiny gels or silicone plugs that you can use to block your tear ducts. This helps natural tears stay in your eyes longer.

You can also get a prescription from an optometrist for medications or solutions that can increase your tear production.

In addition, some cases require surgery meant to reshape the lower eyelid. This helps keep tears in the eyes longer by preventing them from draining too quickly.

Reconsider Your Contacts

If you wear contact lenses, you might want to shift to eyeglasses for a while. Although the technology used in the materials of contact lenses has improved over the years, there can still be instances where the material doesn’t let enough oxygen into the ocular surface. This causes eye dryness, so give your eyes a break by wearing eyeglasses.

Eyeglasses don’t cover up your ocular surface the way contacts do, which allows oxygen in. If you insist on wearing contacts, try contacts with soft lenses made from silicone material.

The best way to treat dry eyes is to talk with professionals first before doing anything. This prevents further complications caused by the improper use of solutions.

Thus, if you have dry eyes or your dry eyes lead you to experience vision changes, talk to an eye professional. They’re experts in the field and provide the best recommendations to treat your condition.

Preventive Measures Against Dry Eyes

As anyone would say, prevention is always better than the cure. Most of the time, dry eyes aren’t something you can control. However, there are some steps that you can take to lessen the chances of incurring dry eyes.

For one, consider using a humidifier at home or the office to keep the air moist. It’s also helpful to lessen screen time and blink as often as you can.

When you’re outside, and it’s too bright, make sure to wear sunglasses. This also applies when you visit windy or hot places.

You should also avoid staying long in smoky or highly polluted areas. Always make sure to bring prescribed teardrops in such places.

Consider increasing your vitamin intake. Specifically, consume more food with vitamin A and vitamin C. Consuming flax seed oil and omega-3 fatty acids can also help with your tear production.

Note that too much vitamin A, however, can harm you. Thus, always consult with a doctor before taking any medication or supplements. Also, take steps to complete the 8 hours of sleep at night for good eye health.

Reduce allergens and dust that can irritate your eyes by cleaning your home, especially your beddings and curtains.

Use air filters indoors to filter out foreign particles in the air that might land in your eyes, and avoid situations where fans, conditioners, or heaters blow air directly into your eyes.

Get Professional Eye Services Today!

Whether you want to get an eye vision exam or want to purchase eyewear, EZ Optical is your go-to place. We’ve got you covered, from eye exams to computer vision treatments.

Thus, if you happen to be within the 5-mile radius of Southwest Freeway Houston, Texas, come to us! Our team of professionals will help you with your eye needs.