Are you experiencing dry, burning eyes with a gritty feeling? Are your eyes uncomfortable or causing you fatigue?
Several causes could be responsible for the symptoms, including infection, medication, or allergies. You could also be suffering from dry eye syndrome.
Approximately one in every eight adults has dry eye syndrome, and it can be mild or severe. Keep reading to learn more and find out what could be making your eyes so dry!
What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Your eyes normally produce tears to clean them, keep them comfortable, and lubricate the surface. The tears are responsible for clearing bacteria, particles, and dust that can cause an infection or even damage your eyes.
When your eyes do not produce enough tears, the tears will evaporate too fast. This results in low-quality tears, and the possibility of dry eye syndrome.
Common dry eye symptoms include the following:
SorenessDrynessEye fatigueSensitivity to lightItchingBlurred visionTearingDouble visionStringy mucus around and in the eyesRedness
Factors Contributing to Dry Eye
Various factors increase the risk of developing dry eye. If these sound familiar, they could be contributing to your dry eye symptoms.
Dry eye is common in people who wear contacts. Some manufacturers are now offering lenses that keep more moisture to counter the condition.
Although you can experience dry eye at any age, it’s more common if you’re 50 or older.
Whether non-prescription or prescription, some medications can make you prone to dry eye. Examples include certain antidepressants, antihistamines, tranquilizers, and blood pressure regulators.
Women are more predisposed to dry eye than men. This is due to hormone fluctuations and is more likely to occur during menopause, pregnancy, or when on birth control.
Blocked Meibomian Glands
Blepharitis, which is inflammation along the edge of your eyelids, and rosacea, among other skin disorders, can result in the blocking of the meibomian glands. These can increase your chances of developing dry eyes.
Dry, windy air, your AC, or heater can all be responsible for dry eye by making your tears evaporate too quickly.
Medical conditions like HIV, shingles, and Bell’s palsy can lead to dry eyes.
Focusing for extended periods on digital devices makes you blink less. This increases blurriness, dryness, discomfort, and tear evaporation.
It’s crucial to take frequent breaks every twenty minutes. Look at an object twenty feet away for at least twenty seconds while blinking a couple of times. This is known as the 20-20-20 rule.
Entropion, where the eyelid turns inward, and ectropion, where it turns outward, may both cause dry eye.
People with systemic conditions or autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, lupus, and diabetes have an increased risk of developing dry eye.
If your eyes are dry and at-home treatments or lifestyle changes aren’t working, you may want to seek medical treatment. The only way to treat dry eyes is to treat the root cause of your dry eyes.
Tired of living with dry or irritated eyes? Chicago Cornea Consultants™ can help! Schedule an appointment in Chicago, IL now!