At one time or another you have likely suffered a period of dry eye. You may have felt like there was grit in your eye or it may have been uncomfortable just to close your eyelids. Unfortunately for some people, this can become a chronic condition that has to be treated in order to protect their vision. This guide answers what are dry eyes and provides suggestions to help.
What are Dry Eyes?
Chronic dry eyes are caused by a lack of sufficient tear production to keep the eyes lubricated, or an imbalance of the makeup of tears which causes them to evaporate too quickly. In both cases, the eyes are not sufficiently lubricated, causing dry eyes.
While initially dry eyes may not affect your vision, the condition may cause inflammation of the eye surfaces, leaving them vulnerable to infection or damage. If treatment is not received, you may experience pain, corneal ulcers and scarring of the cornea, all of which may affect your ability to see clearly.
Knowing when to Seek Help
While any or all of the following symptoms may occur temporarily, experiencing them on a frequent basis means you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam with optomap® as soon as possible so your doctor can determine the cause and begin treatment to protect your vision if necessary. Symptoms to watch for include:
- – Burning or stinging sensations and a feeling of grit in your eyes
- – Stringy discharge that forms in your eyes
- – Eyes that water excessively, especially after particularly strong episodes of dry eye
- – Sporadic blurred vision
- – Difficulty reading, watching television or any other activity that requires you to focus your eyes for lengthy periods
The following are suggestions you can do yourself to help your condition:
- – Use over the counter products for tear replacement that are preservative-free to help keep your eyes lubricated
- – Wear protective eye wear that shields your eyes from wind and sun to avoid excess evaporation of tears
- – Consider using a humidifier at home
- – Allow your eyes frequent rest and make sure to blink often when focusing with your eyes for any length of time