December 15, 2021
Dry eye syndrome is a condition that arises when your eyes do not produce sufficient tears to lubricate themselves. Tears may be inadequate for several reasons, one including the meibomian glands producing poor-quality oil or very little to no oil.
The instability of the tears can cause damage and inflammation to the surface of the eye. Some people experience dry eye in specific environments or climates, although it can happen anywhere and anytime. For this reason, it is vital to find out what triggers your dry eye.
Signs of Dry Eye
Some signs and symptoms that can indicate a person may have dry eye include a scratchy, burning, or stinging sensation, sensitivity to light, eye redness, or discharge from the eyes.
Other signs can include but are not limited to; difficulty driving at night, difficulty wearing contact lenses, blurred vision, and the sensation of something in the eyes. Some people may also experience excessive watering. These symptoms often affect both eyes but can sometimes be worse in one eye versus the other.
Causes and Triggers of Dry Eye
Some things that can cause dry eye are age, hormonal changes, digital device use, autoimmune disease, inflamed meibomian glands, and allergies.
The tear film contains three layers: mucin layer, aqueous layer, and lipid layer, all helping to lubricate the eyes. Reduced production or increased evaporation of tears can cause dry eye.
Along with medical conditions that can cause dry eye, some medications can also be triggers. These medications include antidepressants, oral contraceptives, antihistamines, beta-blockers, and diuretics.
Climatic conditions such as wind and dry air, as well as irritants like dust, smoke and chemical exposure can also cause dry eyes. Additional triggers can be too much screen time, eye trauma, cataract and Lasik surgery, and infrequent blinking.
Complications of Dry Eye
Dry eye suffers may experience additional complications including damage to the surface of the eye and reduced quality of life. Good quality tears and oil play a vital role in keeping the eyes healthy, they protect the surface of the eye and without them the eyes are prone to complications.
Severe dry eye can lead to an abrasion on the cornea, eye inflammation, corneal ulcers and even vision loss. Most people suffering from dry eye disease find it difficult to enjoy or perform daily activities in life, like reading.
Preventing Dry Eye
There are several things that you can do to prevent dry eye. Quit smoking and/or avoid areas with smoke. Wear wraparound glasses to block dry air and wind.
Some additional things you can do to help prevent dry eye are using moisture drops, adding a humidifier in your house in rooms your frequently in such as your bedroom at night, and taking frequent breaks, and performing blink exercises when doing tasks that require visual concentration can also help prevent dry eye.
To find out more about what causes your dry eye, call East Main Vision Clinic in Puyallup, Washington at (253) 780-0700 today to schedule an appointment.