Dry eyes can be an irritating occurring problem for many people. Symptoms can include blurred vision, burning or stinging, eyes feeling scratchy or gritty, watery eyes, redness and even decreased comfort with contact lens wear.
Dry eyes are effectively a tear film deficiency – the tears consist of three layers, each produced by a different set of glands located on the conjunctiva and the eyelids. The layers need to mix in just the right balance; otherwise the tears will either not lubricate the eyes correctly or evaporate from the eye surface too quickly, in between blinking.
There are several causes of dry eyes:
- It can age be related (the level of tear production decreases with age)
- Environmental (dry wind, windy weather – even air conditioning or heaters)
- Hormonal changes (pregnancy, menopause)
- Concentrated tasks (when we are concentrate we blink up to 50% less, meaning fresh layers of tears are not washing across the eye regularly)
- Thyroid problems
- Contact lens wear
If you feel you are suffering from dry eyes, the best thing to do is come into Envision Optical and get assessed for the best solution. You could require something stronger to ease the dryness – so it is important for a professional to take a look. Once the type of dry eye is diagnosed, the treatment regimen will vary depending on the underlying cause. Mild dry eye is most easily treated with ocular lubricants or “tear drops”. These do not cure dry eye but provide symptomatic relief by replacing or supplementing the tears, moisturizing the ocular surface and lubricating the eye. If the drops are not enough we recommend thicker drops or even gels. We will often recommend the use of drops during the day and the gels at night to give maximum relief.
And remember – wearing sunglasses, remembering to blink when performing concentrated tasks, and taking frequent breaks on the computer can all improve eye comfort!