Do your eyes feel uncomfortable and you always feel like you have something in them? Do you have increased eye irritation from smoke or wind? Do your eyes feel fatigue? Are your eyes sensitive to light?
They you might be suffering from dry eyes!
Dry eyes happen when your tears are not able to provide adequate moisture for your eyes. There are many reasons why your tears might be inadequate. You might not be able to produce enough tears or your tear glands might be producing poor quality tears.
Because of insufficient lubrication, dry eyes feel uncomfortable and your eyes might sting or burn. Whether you’re on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, in a car with open windows or you just finished looking at a computer screen, there are a lot of situations which would make you have dry eyes.
In the US, dry eye syndrome is a major health problem and an estimated 5% of Americans have mild, moderate or severe dry eyes and more than eight million people use artificial tears preparations in any given year.
A person with dry eye syndrome may experience dry, gritty, scratchy, burning, and itching or a filmy feeling as well as redness of the eyes, blurred vision, a feeling that there’s something inside their eyes and sensitivity to light.
Symptoms of dry eyes tend to get worse when exposed to windy or dry climates and with higher temperatures and lower humidity. They also seem to worsen at the end of the day after prolonged use of the eyes.
But as uncomfortable as they might seem, dry eyes are not life-threatening at all! If you’re a dry eye sufferer, there’s really no need to worry. There are self-care tips in order to help alleviate dry eyes. Using a humidifier puts more moisture in the air and with that, tears evaporate slowly, leaving the eye more comfortable. You can also avoid drying due to excessive air movement by decreasing the speed of ceiling fans. An air filter might be helpful by reducing dust in the air.
To further increase lubrication in the eyes, artificial tears and lubricating eye drops and gels enable you to have more lubrication and moisture for the eye surface. When prescribed by a physician, they may be used as often as needed. But since over the counter drops are different from each other, some drops may have a longer time effects and some will have different indications.
Like with any eye condition, the earlier dry eyes are diagnosed and treated, you will most likely get better faster.
If you’re experiencing any of the signs and symptoms mentioned above, schedule an appointment at your nearest Palm Beach Eye Center location.