What causes dry eyes? This is a common question from people who suffer from this condition. What’s even more pressing is the continuous search for dry eyes remedies. If you’re someone who is prowling the Web for solutions, the information below will help you find relief from dry eyes symptoms.
What Causes Dry Eyes: Causes and Treatments
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Different things can cause dry itchy eyes. Sometimes, it’s as simple as using fans or air conditioners that dry out the tear film in your eyes. Other causes can be among the following:
- An inability to close your eyelids properly
- Dry climate
- Exposure to wind or smoke
- Natural aging
- Rheumatoid arthritis and other medical conditions that affect tear production
- Side effect of LASIK surgery
- Side effects of medications, such as antihistamines
- Staring at a computer screen for long hours
- Wearing contact lenses too long
According to the American Optometric Association, women are more likely than men to experience dry eyes. This is because of the hormonal changes related to pregnancies, birth control, and menopause.
Most people who have dry eyes are also middle-aged or even older. Nearly five million Americans aged 50 or older have this condition. More than three million of these individuals are women.
What Are Dry Eyes Symptoms?
Your tears are a mixture of several components. These include:
- Water for moisturization
- Oil for lubrication
- Special proteins and antibodies designed to keep infections in check.
- Mucus for spreading these components equally
The National Eye Institute describes dry eyes as a scratchy sensation or a feeling that you have something in your eye. It lists a variety of other symptoms people experience when suffering from dry eyes, such as:
- Excess Tearing
- Periods of Dryness
- Redness in the Eye
Some people with dry eyes experience blurred vision. Others have a sensation of heaviness in their eyelids. They also may experience light sensitivity or a grittiness in their eyes. In some cases, people experience reflex tearing. You develop this because the lack of moisture in your eyes irritates them. This results in your eyes producing too many tears.
Artificial tears offer instant relief. This relief is often a temporary relief to many people suffering from this condition. At other times, it requires environmental changes or time. You may also need medication adjustments to relieve dry eyes symptoms.
How to Cure Dry Eyes Naturally
The key is to learn what you can do to stop dry eyes from affecting your day-to-day activities. Natural remedies offer solid solutions for the discomfort of dry eyes. The American Optometric Association recommends simple changes. These include the following options for relieving many dry eyes symptoms:
- Blink frequently when staring at a computer screen.
- Consider nutritional supplements, especially those rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Drink water to avoid dehydration.
- Use a humidifier at work or home to moisten the air.
- Wear sunglasses outside to provide protection from the sun and the wind.
Sometimes, these changes aren’t enough to offer lasting relief. You will need to take more direct action to address your dry eyes.
When Do You Need to See an Eye Doctor?
If you’ve tried the remedies above along with treatment with artificial tears, with no relief, it might be time to contact your optometrist. Your optometrist will gather information about your medical history. They’ll ask you about the extent of your symptoms. Additionally, they will also conduct an examination of your eyes. They do this to determine if there is a medical condition or if there are medication changes to address before deciding on a course of treatment that might include one of the following:
- Autologous Blood Serum Drops
- Closing Tear Ducts
- Light Therapy
- Lubricating Eye Inserts
- Special Contact Lenses
- Tear-Stimulating Medications
Here’s a short animation video by Kugler Vision to help us better understand how dry eyes develop:
When it comes to your eyes, you can’t take any risk. The eyes are very sensitive, so if you try your luck finding your own remedies or treatments, there’s a good chance your eye condition will get worse. It is always ideal to have an eye doctor check your eyes personally, so you can also get the right treatment. So, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to find lasting, sustainable relief.
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