In a recent research report published by American Journal of Ophthalmology, the prevalence of Dry Eye Disease among 18-34 olds was 2.7 percent compared to 18.6 percent compared to adults over 75. On the other hand, twice as many women have been diagnosed compared to men.
Tears don’t occur when you become emotional or while yawning. It occurs when your eyes become extremely dry. The eyes are covered with tear film which prevents drying of eyes and helps us to see clearly.
There are several causes of dry eyes. Some of them are:
Majority of the people over 65 suffer from dry eyes. They are part of the natural aging process. As we grow old, the tear production gets reduced and the eyelids become less effective.
This is also one of the important factors. Due to hormonal changes in women, the tear production gets stimulated which increases the dry eyes syndrome. Use of contraceptive pills or during menopause and pregnancy, the hormonal changes can result in dry eyes.
Dry eyes brings many diseases with it if left untreated like blepharitis which blocks the glands producing tear film oils and inflaming eyelids.
It is to be noted that the eyes get dry after laser surgery which usually gets normal within a month. But in some cases it might persist for long.
Factors like sun, dry climate, hot blowing air or wind causes dry eyes. Prolonged use of mobile phones and working in computers also cause dry eyes. Anything for a longer stretch harms your eyes.
Symptoms of dry eyes:
Difficulty with nighttime driving
Watery eyes, which is the body's response to the irritation of dry eyes
A sensation of having something in your eyes
Difficulty wearing contact lenses
Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
Sensitivity to light
Blurred vision or eye fatigue
Treatment of dry eyes:
It must be done under registered medical practitioner. The doctor will examine and diagnose the problem, understand problems, go through medical history and conducts test if needed. The tests also give information on the amount of tears, evaporation rate, functioning of the eyelids etc. the doctor suggest some methods to keep the eyes lubricated.
Some ways are:
- Use of eye drops, the artificial tears
- Lessening the drainage of tears
- Natural tears usage must be done as much as possible
If the root cause is psoriasis or infection, the root cause must be treated first before treating dry eyes. We may also prevent it by taking eye breaks during long tasks, wearing protective eye glasses, positioning screen below eye level, stop smoking and avoid smoke, avoiding air blowing in eyes, using artificial tears regularly.