It is a typical Monday afternoon. There are loads of emails in your inbox and targets are soaring high for the day. However, you are a little distracted as your eyes are tired, worn out or dry. Perhaps you feel the need to rub your eyes frequently, because of that constant burning sensation in your eyes. Is that you? If yes, you are a victim to the Dry Eyes.
What is dry eye?
Our eyes are usually full of tears, either we are laughing with contentment or crying with sadness. They provide moisture and lubrication to help us see and keep our eyes comfortable. However, in certain circumstances our eyes get too dry.
Our tears are a mixture of water, mucous and fatty oils. This mixture protects our eyes from getting infected. Dry eyes, as the name suggests is an ocular condition in which a person either does not make enough tears or does not create good quality tears to properly lubricate their eyes and keep the cornea hydrated.
What causes dry eyes?
Sometimes, there's a lack of balance in our tear-flow system. Or our air conditioner, heater, or other things around us could dry out our tear film. Other causes include:
- The natural aging process: As we age, our tear production slows. If the lacrimal glands don’t produce as many tears, we’ll have a problem with tear quantity, leading to dry eyes.
- Side effects from medications
- Looking at electronic gadgets for too long: We may experience dry eyes even if we stare at computer screens or mobile phones for too long.
- Not blinking often: If we go too long without blinking, we are not giving our eyes a chance to replenish the tear film
What are the symptoms?
The main symptoms for dry eyes are frequent irritation and burning in the eyes. Other symptoms may incude:
- Burning sensation
- Itchy eyes
- Aching sensations
- Heavy eyes
- Fatigued eyes
- Sore eyes
- Dryness sensation
- Red eyes
- Photophobia (light sensitivity)
- Blurred vision
Don’t let dry eyes go untreated
Taking care of dry eyes not only relieves discomfort but can help us avoid infection or even scarred corneas. Treatment is pretty simple, too.
- Artificial tear drops: This is one of the most common treatment. We can use artificial tears as eye drops (doctor prescribed) to keep our eyes lubricated and moisturized.
- Steroid drops: When artificial eye drops do not suffice the dry eye conditions, our eye doctor may prescribe these eye drops.
- Punctal plugs: This is inserted in our tear duct which helps increase our eye's tear film and surface moisture to relieve dry eyes.
While there are many treatments, the exact solution depends upon the underlying cause.
Ask them to use goggles at the pool
If you child is going to the pool, make it compulsory for them to wear protective eye wears. The chlorine, designed to protect you from exposure to germs, has the potential to hurt your eyes.
A few handy tips
- Avoid going out in dry weathers
- Avoid exposure to sun - if you have to go wear dark glasses
- Drink plenty of water
- Blink your eyes often
- Include omega 3 fatty acids in your diet.
Dry eye is sometimes only a symptom of some other underlying systemic problem. If you face any of the above said symptoms, consult your eye doctor today!