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A dry eye is a condition wherein your tears cannot provide sufficient lubrication for your eyes. Also, it is a common condition that affects and disrupts your tear film and may indicate signs like itching, burning, or watery eyes. The instability of tears can cause inflammation and may damage your eyes. Besides, it may cause complications if you ignore or leave it undiagnosed. It is essential to understand the leading cause of this problem. Thus, it is crucial to consult an ophthalmologist to get a proper diagnosis of your condition. This article debunks all facts regarding dry eyes and discusses the best ways to cure dry eyes permanently.
What causes dry eyes?
Dry eyes happen when tears are unable to provide enough moisture. Besides, the common causes of this condition are aging, allergic eye disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid, vitamin deficiency, or certain medical conditions. Also, dry eye can occur due to an imbalance of the tear-flow system. Below listed are the major dry eye causes:
- The normal process of aging can be a cause for the dryness in your eyes.
- A heater or air conditioner at your place maybe dry out your tear film
- Also, it can happen due to the side effects of some medications like antihistamines, sleeping, or water pills.
- Prolong use of contact lenses
- Conditions that won’t let your eyelids close as they should.
- Undergone refractive eye surgery, like Lasik
There can be different causes for dry eyes. However, it is wise to consult an eye specialist to learn about the exact cause of your problem and get the right cure.
What are the symptoms of dry eyes?
A person with dry eye may feel like something is in their eyes. And your eyes may feel scratchy and have a sandy sensation. Also, your eyes can become watery. You may be puzzled that watery eyes are a common sign of dry eyes. The other symptoms are as follows:
- Sensitivity to light
- Eyes hurting or burning
- Blurry vision
- Mucus in or around your eyes
- Redness of eyes
- Excess tears coming out of your eyes, i.e., watery eyes
- Facing difficulty in driving during nighttime
So if you notice signs like eye fatigue, irritation, or persistent eye pain, you must immediately consult an eye specialist.
What are the different types of dry eye disease?
The dry eye condition is not only about your eyes being unable to produce enough tears. Since its causes can vary and thus there are different types of dry eye. Here’s all about the types of dry eye disease-
Evaporative dry eye: This condition happens when your tears evaporate very quickly. And it occurs due to the instability of the eyelid glands, and it doesn’t function properly.
Aqueous deficient dry eye happens when your eyes don’t produce enough tears. And it is caused due to the issues in your lacrimal gland and stops it from making sufficient aqueous tears.
Mixed dry eye: If your eyes don’t make enough tears and have tear film instability, this may cause dry eye problems.
Your healthcare provider can perform a few tests to understand the cause and type of dry eye disease you have. Afterward, they will suggest the best suitable method to treat your ailment.
Is dry eye curable?
Dry eyes can be managed and treatable in many patients. But there are different causes of dry eyes. Also, some may have mild dry eye, which is completely curable; in a few cases, it may not go entirely. For instance, if you are on some medication or already have an underlying health condition and cannot get rid of dry eye symptoms. You may ask your doctor to change the medicine to avoid side effects. Various treatment options can prevent dry eye signs and further improve your eye health. Hence, seeking an eye specialist and getting the right diagnosis and cure at the right time is crucial.
What are the best ways to treat dry eyes permanently?
Dry eye is a chronic eye disease that hampers your eye health and may cause damage to the eye surface. Besides, dry eye conditions can be temporary due to climate changes, overuse of contact lenses, and extensive computer use, which can go away by taking precautions. And some conditions are chronic that can be managed but may not cure completely. Getting the right treatment can improve the symptoms and relieve dry eyes. So, some of the best ways to cure dry eyes are as follows:
- Prescription medicines, OTC (over-the-counter) eye drops, like artificial tears
- Eye drops to reduce eyelid and cornea inflammation
- Punctal plugs to retain tears
- Eye inserts to lubricate your eyes
- Nasal spray to maximize tear production
- Clearing oil glands
- Light therapy and eyelid massage to relieve severe dry eyes
However, if you suffer from dry eye syndrome, immediately consult your doctor and get the proper cure.
How to prevent dry eyes?
Here are some ways to prevent dry eye and relieve its symptoms-
- Protect your eyes from direct contact with hair dryers, air conditioners, fans, and car heaters.
- You may add a humidifier for dry indoor air.
- Also, you must try to wear eyeglasses or protective eyewear to shield your eyes from wind and dry air.
- Take a break for a few minutes while you are reading or working on computers. And it would help if you positioned your computer screen below the level of your eyes.
- Avoid any smoking and quit smoking if you do so.
- Use eye drops to keep your eyes well-lubricated.
What are the possible risk factors related to dry eye disease?
There are a few factors that may increase your risk of getting dry eye disease, including:
- As you age, your tear production is likely to decrease. So people over 50 years are more prone to have dry eyes.
- Women tend to get dry eyes more in comparison to males. It can be due to hormonal changes, taking birth control pills, etc.
- A diet low in vitamin A or omega-3 fatty acids can cause dry eyes.
- Underwent refractive eye surgery in the past or wearing contact lenses for a long time.
Common myths about dry eyes
Some myths about dry eye disease make people believe it’s a trivial problem. Thus, it is necessary to debunk this misconception and ensure our better visual health. Here are some typical dry eye myths-
Myth: Dry eye causes only a little discomfort, which is not a serious concern.
Fact: Dry eyes can get a very serious issue if left untreated. Also, it may even lead to vision damage or loss. So it is better to talk to the specialist and understand your symptoms and get the right cure.
Myth: Dry eye is only a sign of some allergy.
Fact: Allergies can cause dry eye disorder, but dry eye condition occurs due to inadequate production of tears.
Myth: The symptom of dry eyes is the drying of eyes.
Fact: There are various causes and signs of dry eyes. Such as eye strain, light sensitivity, blurry vision, watery eyes, etc.
Myth: Every individual experiences dry eyes.
Fact: Sometimes, it is possible due to temporary factors or side effects. But chronic dry eye syndrome requires attention and must be diagnosed by a specialist.
Myth: Dry eyes cannot be cured.
Fact: Various treatment options can completely treat mild dry eyes. And with the right treatment and lifestyle changes, one can easily prevent severe dry eye conditions and have improved eye health.
Dry eyes can occur due to the imbalance of tear production. And ignorance of any small issue can lead to a serious problem. Hence, scheduling a routine eye check-up is wise to ensure better eye health. Also, if you notice any persistent signs of dry eye, you must consult an eye specialist and get a proper diagnosis and cure at the earliest.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is dry eyes problem serious?
A dry eye happens when you don’t have enough tears. Thus, you have higher risks of getting an eye infection and damage. Also, dry eye causes irritation, itching, burning, and pain in your eyes, affecting your daily life. It can get dangerous if left untreated and even cause severe eye harm.
How to fix my dry eye problem?
It is always better to consult an ophthalmologist to address such issues. Your eye specialist will diagnose the actual cause and offer the suitable treatment needed. However, with some lifestyle changes, you can prevent dry eye symptoms, such as wearing protective eyewear, washing your eyelid, blinking more, including omega-3 in your diet, using a warm compress, etc.
Will my dry eye go away?
Yes. In some cases, dry eyes happen due to temporary reasons like season changes, prolonged screen time, and dry weather, which may go away. Also, mild dry eyes can be easily cured with the right treatment. In the case of chronic dry eye disorder, options are available to manage and greatly relieve the symptoms with time.
Can dry eye be caused due to any vitamin deficiency?
Usually, a deficiency of vitamins A, D, B-12, and omega-3 can cause dry eyes. So, you can eat a diet full of these vitamins. And you can include spinach, pumpkin, apricots, carrots, tomatoes, etc., in your diet. Also, you can take omega-3 fatty acid supplements.
Can I live a normal life with dry eyes?
Dry eyes can cause some discomfort that affects the quality of your life. Also, you may need to make some lifestyle changes to improve the signs of the condition. You can live a completely normal life with these changes and the right treatment. But you must consult your eye optometrist for the right cure and lifestyle.
Will my dry eyes stay for a lifetime?
It can stay lifelong for some individuals. And mostly, it happens in older adults. But the mild and temporary dry eye can easily go away with the right treatment. Also, you may get dry eyes while recovering from LASIK. But it will go away with time. Dry eye can be chronic, but it is curable. So not ignoring and seeking the right treatment will offer relief and make a big difference.
How can I keep my eyes hydrated?
Eye drops, warm compress, massage, better sleep, and limited screen time can help calm down and provide moisture to your eyes. Also, staying hydrated can help too. And make sure to include essential fatty acids and vitamins in your diet. Using artificial tears and humidifiers are other ways to keep your eye hydrated.