DRY EYES AND HOW YOU CAN TREAT THEM

What are dry eyes?

There are 2 types of dry eyes (or chronic dry eyes). They are both common eye infections. The first type of dry eyes occur when there is a deficiency in tear production therefore, you are not able to provide enough lubrication to your eyes.

The second type of dry eye is tear evaporation and it is when the Meibomian glands become inflated. You can find these glands within the eye lids which produce the oily part of the tear.

They can happen due to many reasons for example, if your eyes do not produce enough tears or if your eyes are not producing quality tears. However, always be sure to apply eye drops the correct way.

It can get really irritating when experiencing dry eyes. If you have dry eyes, there is a likely chance that your eyes may sting or burn. There are situations where you may experience dry eyes, such as in an air-conditioned room, airplanes, whilst riding a cycle or due to looking at a computer screen for a few hours without taking a break.

Having treatment done would be the best option as it will make you feel far more comfortable.

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Symptoms of dry eyes

You may have dry eyes if your eyes feel:

  • Blurry
  • Sensitive to light
  • Watery eyes
  • Gritty
  • Red
  • Itchy
  • Sore

What causes Dry eyes?

The following are some risk factors that people with dry eyes could suffer from:

  • If you wear contact lenses
  • You are over the age of 50
  • Particularly in women. This is common in women due to their experience in hormonal changes in pregnancy, using birth control pills or menopause
  • Looking at a digital device/screen for long periods of time without taking a break
  • Spending time in air conditioned or heated environments
  • Smoking can increase the risk of serious eye conditions. It can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome.
  • Climatic conditions can also cause problems to your eyes such as, if it’s windy, cold, dry or dusty. Here is a guide to keep your eyes healthy throughout winter.
  • You have certain conditions, such as Blepharitis, Sjogren’s syndrome or Lupus
  • You take certain medicines, such as antidepressants or blood pressure drugs.
  • Dry eyes can also occur following surgical procedures in the eye, such as dry eyes after cataract surgery

Complications

Eye infections – without enough tears, there is an increased risk of eye infections. This is because your tears protect the surface of your eyes.

Damage to the surface of your eyes – if left untreated, dry eyes can lead to severe eye inflammation, abrasion of the corneal surface corneal ulcer and vision problems.

Decreased quality of life – Dry eyes can lead to your every day tasks, such as reading become very difficult to do.

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How to treat dry eyes?

  • Take regular breaks from your digital device
  • Ensure that your digital device is on eye level in order to avoid strain to your eyes
  • Keep your eyes clean
  • Eye drops/artificial tears
  • Healthy diet
  • Use a humidifier to stop the air getting dry
  • Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep
  • Regularly make a switch between your contact lenses and glasses to rest your eyes
  • Exercise!
  • Recipes to healthy vision
  • Here are 5 more tips to keep your eyes healthy
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Who should you go and see?

A pharmacist may be able to help with your dry eyes. Some of the things that they will be able to tell you:

  • What you can do in order to treat yourself – for example cleaning and protecting your eyes
  • If you purchase anything that can aid in sorting out the problem – for example eye drops, gels, ointments or allergy medicines
  • If you need to see an optician or GP
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