Dry eyes is a syndrome in which either tears evaporate too quickly or the eyes do not make enough tears in the first place. It is a common condition although it is predominantly suffered by women over the age of 60. It is not a very serious condition and the dry eye symptoms can be relieved pretty simply. However dry eyes can be painful if not treated, especially if the eyes have become inflamed and swollen.
Dry Eye Symptoms
The main dry eye symptoms will usually be experienced in both eyes and they do tend to get worse in smoky or hot environments. The most common dry eye signs include:
• Eyelids that are stuck together when you wake up.
• Red eyes.
• Watery eyes – especially when exposed to smoke or wind.
• Feelings of soreness, dryness or grittiness which get steadily worse as the day goes on.
If treatment is not sought for the above dry eye symptoms it is possible for complications to occur which can aggravate the condition further. More serious dry eye signs include:
• Very red and painful eyes.
• Deteriorated vision.
• An extreme sensitivity to light.
If you have any of the more advanced dry eye symptoms you should contact your GP immediately or ask someone to take you to the closest accident and emergency department. If these symptoms are not treated it could damage your eyesight permanently.
Dry Eye Causes
The dry eye causes are varied and include:
• Side effect of medication.
• Hormonal changes.
• Environmental issues such as a windy or hot climate.
Most cases of dry eye have no explainable cause and with so much being exposed to the eye it can be hard to determine what the specific dry eye causes are.
Treatment for Dry Eyes
Once the dry eye symptoms become apparent, it is likely for the sufferer to experience the condition for the rest of their life. However although there is no cure, there are a lot of dry eye treatment options that can help to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms that accompany the condition. Some of the most popular dry eye treatments include:
• Treating the underlying medical condition – if this is what has led to dry eye syndrome.
• Eye drops for dry eyes – this can help to lubricate the eyes and alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms. However eye drops for dry eyes can cause blurred vision so it is best to use the ointment at night time.
• Contacts for dry eyes – sometimes dry eye can be caused by a specific brand of contact lenses. There are now a number of contact lenses for dry eyes that can be prescribed to people suffering from the condition. Special goggles can also be worn which help to keep the eye moist.
• Changing the environmental conditions – if dry eye is caused by the environmental conditions, changing these can alleviate the symptoms. One popular remedy is placing a humidifier in the room
• Diet – it is thought that by eating foods high in omega three you can alleviate the dry eye symptoms and prevent the condition from reoccurring.
Surgery – This is the final dry eye treatment option and is usually only performed on people who have a severe version of the condition which cannot be treated with the other treatment options.