Mar 28

What Causes Dry Eyes?

by in Health

dry_eyesChances are that at some point in your life you have experienced dry eyes. This could have been a very minimal drying of the eye or perhaps something more complex. I’m not sure if you have ever sat down and thought about your eyes. They tend to be something we take for granted until something goes wrong. I know I took my eyes for granted until I had to get glasses and subsequently contacts when I was in middle school. Thankfully however, due to modern technology I now have perfect eyesight due to Lasik surgery. The reason your eyes produce tears is to lubricate the area in order to help maintain vision and comfort. So tears are very important to the overall well-being of your eye. Believe it or not, tears are actualy composed of a few different substances. Tears contain water which acts to moisturize your eyes, oil that acts to lubricate your eyes, mucus which acts to evening spread the moisture around your eyes, and antibodies which act to protect your eye from infection. You have glands around each of your eyes which produce this mixture known as tears. When there is any sort of imbalance in the tear system, an individual might suffer from dry eyes.

An individual’s eyes get dry when their tear glands cannot produce enough high quality tears or in other words the imbalance of the tear system that I mentioned above. Other instances where individuals might experience dry eyes are: dry air from environmental factors such as extreme heat, the natural aging process our bodies go through, side effects of certain prescription medication, some diseases and even if you have structural problems with your eyelids. Your eyelids act as a spreading agent for tears as well, so if you don’t blink too much your tears might dry up before they are evenly spread around your eye by your eyelid. If you work at a computer a lot, or read alot, you might not be blinking too often so every now and then blink so your eyelids don’t get lazy. Given all these possibilities, dry eyes can be rather common.

If you experience dry eyes you are aware that they can cause: pain, sensitivity to light, a gritty sensation, itchiness, redness and even blurring of vision. Obviously something quite uncomfortable and unpleasant to experience. So how can you best treat it? Artificial tear drops and ointments are often used. This will help to better lubricate your eyes until they can produce high quality tears on their own. If you don’t like the idea of putting drops into your eye, perhpas dry eye goggles are more suited for you. You can put these on and the beads will help to get your eyes into better balance. Temporary punctal occlusion is another way to treat dry eyes. This is when the duct that drains tears out of the eye is plugged. A last way of treating dry eyes is by using other medication or nutritional supplements into your daily habits. This can include steroid eyedrops for quicker relief, or adding fish oil and omega 3 supplements to your diet. Regardless of the method you choose, there is relief so get up and start actively taking care of your eyes today!

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