Sun. Nov 28th, 2021

Common Causes and Health Risks of Dry Eyes

Healthy eyes tear even when you are happy. The mixture of oils, water, mucus, and antibodies in tears lubricate your eyes, making them feel comfortable. Unfortunately, you might suffer from dry eyes when your tear glands fail to produce enough tears, resulting in a gritty feeling in your eyes. According to Jenkintown ophthalmologist & eye surgeon Dr. Aaila Chaudhry, your tear glands are responsible for lubricating your eyes, keeping them wet. However, your tears might fail to function effectively when the glands fail to produce enough moisture or your tears dry up faster than they should. Failure to contact your ophthalmologist for professional help, a severe case of dry eyes may result in various other eye problems, including eye infections and double vision.

What are some of the common causes of dry eyes?

  • Aging

Though no one is immune to dry eyes, the condition becomes a common occurrence, especially as you age. Dry eyes affect most individuals past 50 years because aging declines tear production. Though aging is inevitable, your ophthalmologist may recommend artificial tears to lubricate your eyes to give you extra lubrication. The lubrication minimizes dryness, minimizing your symptoms.

  • Medications

Certain prescription medications like antidepressants, antihistamines and diuretics are likely to lower mucus production, contributing to severe dry eyes. Therefore, you should talk to your doctor when your dry eyes result from taking medications. You may also ask the medical professional for an alternative prescription or a minimal dosage to minimize the dryness. Additionally, the medical expert may advise you to use artificial tears when taking your medication to lubricate your eyes.

  • Vitamin A deficiency

A diet low in vitamin A may eventually result in dry eyes and other eye worries, including night blindness. Since the vitamin enhances your eyes’ health, your doctor may recommend fish, broccoli, carrots, and spinach. Though eye drops might not help treat eye problems, you may consult your doctor to see if you can use eye drops rich in vitamin A.

  • Sjögren’s syndrome

The condition is an auto-immune ailment that forces your white blood cells to attack your tear and salivary glands, minimizing your tear production. Your ophthalmologist may prescribe lubricating eye drops or steroid eye drops to ease your discomfort. However, when eye drops fail to relieve the dryness, the healthcare provider may recommend a surgical procedure that involves placing silicone plugs in your tear ducts to help preserve your tears.  

What symptoms are you likely to have with dry eyes?

You are likely to experience dry eyes when you fail to produce enough tears to moisturize and lubricate your eyes. Besides making you uncomfortable, dry eyes may also trigger visual complications. Fortunately, your doctor might recommend treatment options to enhance your eyes’ health. The healthcare provider may advise you to watch out for dry eyes symptoms like:

  • Red eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision
  • Burning or stinging sensation in your eyes
  • Itchy eyes

You may also be at a higher risk of having the condition if:

  • You wear contact lenses
  • You are 50 years or older
  • Have certain medical conditions
  • You have vitamin A deficiency   

Dry eyes can either be mild or chronic. While your doctor can help you manage mild dry eyes with lubricating eye drops, chronic dry eyes might require surgical treatment. Contact your doctor today to learn more about dry eyes. 

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