Do your eyes feel irritated, itchy or dry? Do they tend to turn red quite often or make it impossible for you to keep them open? Do you sometimes feel the need to blink constantly to get rid of the grittiness? You might be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome.
Dry Eye Syndrome stems from a complex anomaly that has its roots in the tear ducts. This condition is characterized by insufficient or poor quality of tears produced by the tear ducts. This is a common condition and is known to affect 1 out of 8 adults in the world. As it is a common and mild phenomenon, it can be easily treated by over-the-counter eye drops, unless they turn more serious for ophthalmologist’s intervention.
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry Eye Syndrome can be caused due to insufficient tear formation in the ducts, or poor quality tear formation, or both. There can be many reasons behind the functional anomalies of the tear ducts.
- In certain conditions, the tear ducts are blocked thus preventing sufficient tear flow into the eyes. There are certain medications as well that can reduce tear production or prevent them from flowing into the eyes.
- Certain environmental conditions, like excessive dust, dry or windy weather, high altitudes or high temperature can also accelerate the drying out of your eyes. Being exposed to cigarette smoke is a potent cause for dry eyes amongst smokers.
- Wearing poor quality contact lenses for long stretches of time can also cause dryness. Staring for too long at your computer or at a TV screen can also cause dryness in your eyes.
- The natural changes that take place in our body due to aging can also cause dry eye syndrome.
In most of these cases, the discomfort can be soothed or treated by simple changes in diet, medication and lifestyle. When left untreated, dry eye syndrome can get aggravated and lead to corneal ulcers.
Treating Dry Eyes Syndrome at home
- Warm moist compresses –
Take a clean cloth, soak it in warm water and apply over your closed eyes. Do this twice a day, for five minutes each and you will notice a definite soothing feeling. It will also promote a healthier tear flow and more lubricating tear production.
- Artificial tears or eye drops –
There are some safe over-the-counter eye drops that can lubricate your dry eyes and provide instant relief. However, if the problem persists or keeps getting worse, it’s advisable to consult an ophthalmologist about the medication.
- Stay hydrated –
Dehydration is one of the biggest factors causing dry eyes, especially if you live in dry or hot climates. You can counter that by drinking as much water as you can.
- Wear Sunglasses outdoors –
Dry eyes tend to get sensitive to light, which can further aggravate their condition. Wearing sunglasses can prevent that and also provide protection from the heat. Sunglasses can also keep wind and dust out of your eyes, and thus help locking in moisture.
- Clean environments –
The cleaner your environment is, the lesser it will trouble your eyes. Regular dusting and vacuuming can remove all of the major pollutants and keep your house dust-free. Changing the air filters of your air-conditioner regularly also ensures that the air that you’re breathing is free from any new pollutants.
- Humidifiers –
People who live in excessively dry climates can keep a humidifier in their homes. This increases the moisture content of their immediate environment and prevents the eyes from drying out too fast.
- Sufficient nutrition –
Increase your intake of Vitamins A and C as well as important omega-3s by making sure your diet consists of many green, leafy vegetables, fish, nuts, citrus fruits, and vegetables. Reducing your intake of caffeinated drinks and alcohol can also help, as they tend to dehydrate your body.
- Ensure proper Blue Light protection –
Digital devices like laptops, mobile phones, TV screens, and tablets, all radiate a harmful blue light, which can cause dry eyes and headaches. Protect your eyes from blue light rays with the help of Vision Express Blue Shield Lenses for your spectacles.(find a store)
Keeping your eyes healthy and lubricated isn’t a challenging task. Stay hydrated, take in proper nutrition, and keep your eyes protected from harmful external agents. If the dry eye syndrome persists, it is time to consult an ophthalmologist who will be able to help you further.