The eyes are the second most complex organs in the body after the brain. Our eyes are useful in processing all our daily activities. It is fundamental, therefore, for everyone to give the eyes proper care. Generally, the eyes produce tears to remain moist throughout the day. If the eyes are constantly moist and wet, they can function properly. When the eyes get too dry, it can cause unpleasant symptoms related to dry eyes syndrome. In this article, we’re going to explore dry eyes and the management strategies to reduce the risk of their complications.

What is Dry Eye?

Understanding what this condition is all about is the first step in proper management.

Research shows that about 5% of Americans struggle with dry eyes syndrome.

Dry eyes happen when your eyes don’t create enough tears to keep them lubricated. You may start to notice a scratchy feeling in your eyes when they become too dry. Some people experience dry eyes occasionally, some have conditions like dry eyes syndrome which causes a more consistent dryness in the eyes.

How Do Tears Work?

To better understand dry eyes and the eye irritation that comes with it, you should learn how tears work. We have established that tears play an important role in helping your eyes lubricated.

The lacrimal glands that sit at the top of your eyes are responsible for making tears. Once the lubricating liquid is excreted, it spreads over your eye every time you blink. As mentioned above, tears ensure your eyes are wet and smooth. If they are not well lubricated, they might not be able to function well.

The entire tear system is also known as the lacrimal apparatus. Apart from the glands that make tears, some sacs and ducts store the liquid that releases lubricants around your eyeballs.

Types of Dry Eye Disease

If you’re experiencing dry eyes, you might want to find answers to your question - why do my eyes hurt? This syndrome has different types, and knowing the differences can help you identify the necessary actions to address your condition properly.

1. Aqueous-deficient dry eye

Aqueous-deficient dry eye means your lacrimal gland is not making enough of the aqueous layer of the tear film. This deficiency reduces the level of lubrication tears provided by your eyes.

2. Evaporative dry eye

Among the different types of dry eyes syndrome, this one is the most common. It happens when oil glands in the eyelids get blocked. These glands release oil that helps prevent tears from evaporating or becoming dry.

3. Mixed dry eye

With mixed dry eye, you’ll have signs of more than one of these conditions. For example, your lacrimal gland might not make enough of the aqueous layer in your tears while your oil glands are blocked at the same time. This type makes your symptoms worse.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

There are a couple of symptoms that you should look out for, but the most obvious is the dryness you feel in your eyes. Apart from this, you should also take note of the following symptoms:

  • A scratchy feeling in your eyes which gets worse when your eyes are dry.

  • You may also have burning or stinging sensations in your eyes.

  • Your sensitivity to light may change.

  • Blurred vision and difficulty focusing your vision on specific objects.

  • When you work on a computer or read, you may experience eye fatigue.

  • Sometimes, a gritty feeling can also develop, almost like you have some sand stuck in your eyes.

  • In certain cases, eyelids can start to swell up. This happens when your oil glands are blocked.

Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome

Several factors may cause dry eyes syndrome. Wearing your contact lenses for too long can cause allergies which could result in dry eyes, puffiness, and redness.

Dry eyes are sometimes a result of an underlying disease or medical condition. Psoriasis, rosacea, and face dermatitis, for example, are skin conditions known to contribute to dry eyes.

Ocuvital

What Can Dry Eyes Be a Sign of?

Dry eyes can also be a sign of a more serious health issue. Below are some diseases that have been linked to dry eyes:

  • Sjogren’s syndrome: This is an autoimmune disease that affects specific glands, including those that produce tears and saliva. The condition can cause both dry eyes and make your mouth feel dry.

  • Diabetes: If you have diabetes, your blood glucose levels can fluctuate. The disease damages your nerves and, over time, can also contribute to dry eyes.

  • Thyroid eye disease: Your thyroid makes hormones that are primarily involved with metabolism. However, research shows that certain thyroid disorders can also cause dry eye syndrome. This is sometimes also referred to as thyroid eye disease.

  • Blepharitis: This is a condition that specifically affects your eyelids. To be specific, blepharitis causes your eyelids to become swollen - and when this happens, your oil glands can become clogged. In turn, it results in evaporative dry eye syndrome.

Risk Factors for Dry Eye Syndrome

When you know the risk factors for this syndrome, it’s easier to determine just how likely you are to develop dry eyes. So, with that in mind, let’s take a close look at a couple of risk factors:

  • If you’ve had eye surgery before, your risk of dry eyes is generally higher.
  • If your work environment exposes you constantly to dust and toxins, it’s another risk factor for dry eyes.
  • Experiencing an injury directly to your eyes makes you more likely to develop dry eye syndrome.
  • Deficiency in certain nutrients such as vitamin A is a risk factor.

Management and Treatment

Understanding the risk factors and potential causes and knowing the different treatments for this condition is critical. The goal is to prevent your eyes from becoming too dry to ensure your vision is not affected.

Going to an eye specialist is vital in knowing your risk factors and the possible treatment. An eye examination and some bloodwork would make the official diagnosis. This way, it’s easier to identify the root causes and the treatment.

In addition to this, there are also things you can do to address dry eye syndrome. The discussion that follows explores the possible strategies.

How Do You Fix Dry Eyes?

Using artificial tears can be a great start to help you improve these symptoms. Certain vitamins and minerals could also help. Options like the Ocuvital Eye Health Supplements provide access to nutrients that are vital for tear production and overall vision.

Knowing how to cure dry eyes permanently might sound a little challenging. Taking a regimen of good supplements can be a great start. However, the treatment might take time especially if there is an underlying cause that needs to be addressed first.

Home Remedies and Environment Modifications

Assessing your environment could also help alleviate your symptoms. Take note of moisture levels in the air. If the air is dry, you’re more likely to have dryness in your eyes. Using a humidifier is a great addition to your dry eye syndrome self-care steps.

FAQ’s

What causes dry eyes at night?

There are a couple of things that can make your eyes feel dry at night. Damaged eyelids, dehydration, and even age are potential causes. Apart from these, some health conditions can also contribute to your dry eyes at night.

Can dry eyes cause blindness?

Yes, it’s possible. However, it can be treated before it comes to this point. Underlying health conditions must not be ruled out, they may be the primary cause of blindness.

Is dry eye syndrome serious?

The severity depends on the way you are managing your condition. If you don’t apply the proper treatment when it is needed, it can become serious and even lead to vision impairment.

What vitamins are good for dry eyes?

Vitamin A could help improve the production of tears while vitamin B12 might help with the burning sensations that come with dry eyes. Other vitamins, like vitamins C, D, and E are also beneficial to your general eye health and can help in your dry eyes.

Takeaway

Dry eyes can be uncomfortable and can affect your vision. It can give you burning sensations and a scratchy feeling. If not treated well, it could become serious which could lead to blindness. Understanding this condition should make everything more manageable. While there are cases where dry eyes can be serious, treatments are available for this syndrome. If you have dry eyes syndrome, it is best to check with your doctor to understand the cause and then work on a management plan to prevent those unpleasant complications.

References

1] https://www.verywellhealth.com/dry-eye-syndrome-facts-6188248
2] https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/24415-lacrimal-apparatus
3] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4655452/

Amr

Amr

Amr is a 29-year-old pharmacist who has established himself as an experienced medical content writer. He holds a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from the esteemed Faculty of Pharmacy at Alexandria University. Amr's passion for writing stemmed from his interest in healthcare, and he combined his knowledge of the medical field with his creative flair to become a proficient content writer. Throughout his career, Amr has worked on various projects, including medical articles, research papers, and informative blog posts for clients in the healthcare industry. He has a comprehensive understanding of medical terminology and can translate complex medical jargon into easily understandable language for the general public. Amr's dedication to his craft is reflected in the quality of his work, and his attention to detail ensures that each piece of content he writes is accurate, informative, and engaging. When he's not working, Amr enjoys reading about the latest advancements in healthcare and spending time with his loved ones.

Education

  • Bachelor of pharmacy from Alexandria university
  • 2012-2017

Work Experience

  • Pharmacist - Al Azaby Pharmacies 2012-2014
  • Pharmacist – Khalil Pharmacies 2014-present
Written by Amr

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