Your eyes need tears to stay healthy. They rinse the eye of any dust or particles and maintain moisture. They also contain enzymes that guard the eyes from bacteria that can be found in the eye.
In instances where the eyes have insufficient tears, symptoms can result such as persistent feelings of dryness, burning, itching or a foreign body sensation. Ironically, occasionally dry eyes can cause eyes to water excessively as the eyes try to compensate for inadequate tearing.
Dry eyes are a result of a several factors. Dry eyes are often age related since it is usually adults that complain of dry eye syndrome, and often women going through menopause. Dry eye syndrome can also result from certain medicines. Dry or dusty air, and dry heat or air circulation can also be the cause. Additionally, some diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or others, continual staring at a computer which can reduce blinking, or contact lens wear can cause dry eyes.
Dry eye symptoms may be alleviated by use of lubricating eye drops to put moisture back into the eye. It’s recommended to check with your optometrist to make sure you are using the right eye drops in the right way. If over the counter artificial tears don’t help your doctor might prescribe Rx drops that stimulate tear production.
If those aren’t helpful, your eye doctor might want to try Lacrisert, which is inserted into the eyelid and periodically lets out moisturizing ingredients at various intervals. Another option might be lacrimal plugs which help the eye maintain moisture by restricting tear flow. Some eye care professionals will recommend ways for you to change your environment or your diet to lessen the symptoms as well.
For the majority of individuals, dry eyes do not result in any real damage but can be an annoyance. Nevertheless, severe cases have a chance of making you more susceptible to infection so it is advised to speak to your eye doctor.
If you notice symptoms of dry eye syndrome schedule a visit to your optometrist today!