Dry Eye Symptoms May Come from a Variety of Factors. Do You Know What They Are?
Dry eye syndrome sounds like a relatively serious condition. As a syndrome, it sounds chronic and severe. Because of the perception of dry eye syndrome as a severe and chronic disorder, many people miss the signs that they, themselves are living with the symptoms of dry eye. Are you one of them? The common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include a gritty sensation, redness, excessive tearing, and general eye pain. If the tear film is severely compromised, one may have difficulty seeing and need to spend some time with their eyes closed.
The symptoms of dry eye syndrome don’t have to be severe for you to have this condition, nor are they always persistent in terms of occurring daily. Symptoms may occur for a few days and may get better with home remedies. Sometimes, an ophthalmologist should perform treatment to improve the integrity of the tear film. One way to know if you might need professional treatment for dry eyes is to assess the persistence and severity of your symptoms. This might help you understand what has caused discomfort in the first place.
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
There are a few common factors that can trigger symptoms like grittiness and pain. Often, multiple factors combine to create the perfect circumstances for more severe discomfort. These include:
- Digital eye strain. It is no secret that we live in a digital society. Our heavy use of computers, smartphones, tablets, and other devices places us at risk for digital eye strain, which leads to dry eye. This happens by not blinking. Studies show that the more concentration a task takes, the less we blink. Digital device use takes concentration and so significantly slows our blink rate. To prevent or decrease the symptoms of dry eye, it is necessary to be mindful about blinking frequently even when in front of a screen. Some people must use lubricating eye drops for a short time to end a flare-up.
- Dry weather. The humidity of the air changes from day to day, with some parts of the country prone to leaning one way or the other. When the air is dry, wind can intensify the effects on the eyes. Dry wind enters the eyes and makes the tear film dry more quickly. Dry air can occur inside just as easily as it can outside due to the use of heating and air conditioning. Symptoms may improve with lubricating eye drops.
- Blepharitis. Blepharitis is a kind of inflammation that occurs when the meibomian glands in the eyes are not producing an adequate amount of oil. In the tear film, oil combines with water and mucus to form the perfect ratio of fluids and lipids to maintain healthy lubrication. When a person has blepharitis, they may be able to improve symptoms by applying a moist, warm cloth to the eyes. Lubricating eye drops may also temporarily reduce symptoms. To keep symptoms from persisting, medical treatment may be needed to unblock the affected oil glands. This treatment is non-invasive, comfortable, and effective.
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