When we talk about eye diseases, most of us are more aware of the more common ones like glaucoma, macular degeneration, or cataracts. While these diseases are serious conditions, they usually don’t affect our day-to-day lives. However, a less common eye disease called dry eye can make you stop working, do the things that you like, or even make you stop living in the comfort of your own home. It is estimated that 24 million Americans suffer from dry eye, including 2.5 million Canadians. It is a disease that has been growing since the
What is dry eye disease?
Dry Eye is a condition that occurs when water evaporates from the surface of the eye faster than the tears can replace them. The outermost layer of the eye is made up of tears and oil, both of which are needed to keep the surface of the eye from getting dried out and itchy. If too much oil builds up in the eye, then the surface of the eye can become too oily and the eye can become more watery. If too little oil builds up in the eye, the surface of the eye can get too dry and cause a burning sensation. Dry Eyes can be caused by some medicines, eye injuries, autoimmune diseases, and many other factors. The most common symptom of Dry Eye disease is a feeling of tiredness or irritation in the eyes.
What are the symptoms of dry eye disease?
Dry eye disease is a broad term used to describe a range of symptoms that result in inflammation of the eye and the surrounding tissues. Altered production of tears, poor quality tears, and poor tear drainage are common causes of dry eye.
Symptoms may include:
- Dryness and irritation of the eye
- Burning and grittiness
- Blurred vision
- Eye fatigue
- Eye pain
- Visual blurring
- Halos around lights
- Poor night vision
- Watering When to see a doctor: If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eye for longer than two weeks, see an eye care professional.
What causes dry eye disease?
A condition called dry eye can occur as a result of aging, some diseases, and some medications. According to the National Eye Institute, the most common reason for dry eye are Aging. This can cause a decline in tear production. Also, the tear film becomes thinner and more fragile, allowing tears to evaporate more easily. Some diseases. This is especially true in Sjogren syndrome, a condition in which the immune system attacks moisture-producing glands. Also, some types of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Sjogren syndrome can cause dry eyes.
If you are using a prescription or over-the-counter medication, it is important to read the side effects or your pharmacist to determine whether your eyes could be affected. Also, some artificial tears and lubricants can cause the symptoms of dry eye.
How can you prevent dry eye disease?
Here are some ways to help prevent dry eye disease:
Rest your eyes periodically. When you are working at your computer, look up and away from the screen at least every 20 minutes. This will give your eyes a chance to rest and will stimulate tear production.
What are the treatment methods for dry eye disease?
There are numerous treatment options for dry eye disease. The most common treatment method is to use artificial tears. Antibiotics are sometimes used for a short period of time for patients with conjunctivitis (pink eye). Over-the-counter and prescription eye drops can help relieve the symptoms of dry eye disease. Artificial tears can be combined with other treatment methods for the prevention and relief of the symptoms of dry eye disease. Some patients benefit from punctal plugs or punctal cautery (freezing the tear ducts). Other extended uses of artificial tears can help to prevent dry eye disease.
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What is self-care for dry eye disease?
I have to tell everyone what I know. The first step is to avoid those things that cause dry eye such as prolonged screen time with the computer, spending a long time outside in windy weather, lack of sleep, and so on. Besides, there are other causes of eye dryness such as uterine fibroids, postpartum depression, seasonal allergies, and chronic sinusitis.
We hope you enjoyed our article on Dry Eye Disease. Dry eye disease can be a debilitating condition, but it can be helped with the right treatment. If you would like to learn more about dry eye disease, or if you think you may have a dry eye disease, we encourage you to contact us anytime. We are always happy to help!
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