Why Are My Eyes So Dry?
Many people suffer from dry eyes. That scratchy, itchy feeling that—in some cases—can be severe enough to interrupt normal activities. But what causes it? And what can be done about it?
Read on to discover some of the most common reasons behind the condition.
The Lowdown on Dry Eyes
- Dry eye is a recognized medical condition
- Common causes of dry eye
- What makes dry eye worse?
Dry eye is a recognized medical condition
We all have dry eyes once in a while. Perhaps you’ve spent too long staring at a computer screen or spent extended time outside in windy weather. However, when the problem becomes more than just a one-off occurrence, it’s usually due to a recognized condition: the inability of the eyes to produce enough tears, or perhaps tears that aren’t of the right quality.
This condition is known as ‘dry eye’.
When this happens, it means that there’s not enough moisture to effectively lubricate the eyes. This causes the eyes to feel gritty, scratchy, sore, and—in some cases, make them water even more than usual. The condition is chronic, meaning it continues over an extended period. Sometimes it might flare up, sometimes it might improve a little. Sufferers often find that exacerbation goes hand in hand with an event of some kind, such as an illness or a change of medication.
Common causes of dry eye
The following are some of the most common causes of dry eye.
- Being female: The condition is more common in women because of hormonal changes. Pregnancy, use of the contraceptive pill, or menopause are common reasons.
- Getting older: Those over the age of 65 tend to produce fewer tears or tears of inferior quality.
- You suffer from a medical condition: Thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes are often accompanied by dry eye.
- Your tears are of poor quality: If the tears you produce don’t have the necessary components to lubricate and nourish the eye. This means that although your eye might feel watery, it’s actually too dry.
Of course, dry eyes can also be caused by allergies, environmental conditions (dust, pollen, wind), or a condition known as Blepharitis.
What makes dry eye worse?
One of the worst things you can do is to rub or scratch the eyes. Dry conditions, such as air conditioning, can exacerbate it, as can excessive sun or wind exposure.
How to Treat Dry Eye
- From practical tips to medical procedures
From practical tips to medical procedures
The following are some practical ways you can help keep the condition at bay:
- Wear wraparound sunglasses when outside to protect your eyes from the sun or wind
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid dry environments. Consider adding air humidity within your home
- Use warm compresses over the eyes when the condition flares up
- Gently massage the eyelids
Other, more aggressive, treatment might be prescribed by your ophthalmologist if gentle self-management doesn’t control it. These might include:
- The use of artificial tears
- Taking an omega-3 supplement
- Prescription eye drops that stimulate the production of tears
- Inserting removable gel or silicone plugs into the tear ducts
- Surgically closing the tear ducts
While the last two options might sound quite drastic, the aim is to prevent the tear ducts from draining too fast. Your ophthalmologist will use a stepwise approach to treat your condition, first beginning with artificial tears.
Suffering From Dry Eye? Contact the WBEC Today
Determining the cause of your dry eye is the first step to successful treatment. The highly experienced clinical team at the West Boca Eye Center offers a dedicated dry eye service, meaning you can be sure of the ultimate diagnosis and care.
Don’t suffer in silence. Visit https://westbocaeyecenter.com/services/dry-eyes-allergies/ to discover more and get in touch to begin your path to recovery.