Having dry eyes is a common problem for Australians, occurring when the eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. Tears are essential for maintaining the health of the eyes and providing clear vision. They lubricate and nourish the eyes, wash away debris and irritants, and help prevent infections.
When the eyes don't produce enough tears, or the tears are not of the proper rich consistency, dry eye discomfort can result. Having eye dryness can lead to a range of symptoms, including:
- Redness or irritation
- Stinging or burning in the eyes
- A scratchy or gritty feeling in the eyes
- Excessive tearing (as the eyes try to compensate for the dryness)
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes can be caused by a variety of factors, including ageing, hormonal changes, certain medications, environmental factors (such as dry air or wind), and medical conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren's syndrome).
Dry Eye Treatment
Treatment for dry eyes typically involves using artificial tears or other lubricating eye drops to help keep the eyes moist. In some cases, prescription medications or other procedures may be needed to address underlying medical conditions or other contributing factors. Addressing any underlying issues is crucial to keep eye dryness from being a recurring problem.
In addition to the treatments above, there are also steps that people can take to reduce the risk of dry eyes, such as avoiding exposure to dry air or wind, taking breaks when doing tasks that require extended periods of visual concentration, and maintaining good eyelid hygiene.