Dry Eye: Everything You Need to Know

Dry eye ranks among the most common conditions that affect the eye. It comes about due to a shortage of tears which makes it challenging to lubricate your eyes. You can have unstable and inadequate tears due to many reasons. For instance, you may have dry eyes if you produce low-quality tears or cannot produce enough. This may lead to inflammation and damages affecting the eye’s surface. Dry eyes can cause discomfort, and you may feel a burn or sting. You can also experience dry eyes under specific circumstances, such as during a flight or sitting in a room with air conditioning. You can get rid of the discomfort by visiting a Hell’s Kitchen dry eye specialist.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of dry eye may vary from one patient to the other. However, you may experience a burning or stinging sensation. You can also have stringy mucus around or inside your eyes. In some cases, you may develop sensitivity to light, redness, watery eyes, eye fatigue, and blurred vision. Some patients may feel like they have something in their eyes and have challenges wearing contact lenses.

If you have symptoms of dry eye that do not go away or get better after some time, you may need to see a doctor. They can identify the problem or send you to a specialist for more detailed treatment.

Causes

Dry eyes come about due to many different reasons which disrupt the tear film. It has three layers: fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus. This surface lubricates your eyes and keeps the surface clear and smooth. When you develop a problem affecting any of these layers, it can lead to dry eyes.

Many reasons could lead to tear film dysfunction. They include hormone changes, allergic eye disease, inflamed eyelid glands, and autoimmune diseases. In some cases, you may develop a dry eye due to tear evaporation.

Decreased tear evaporation comes about when you cannot produce enough water, a condition known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Common reasons for reduced tear production include aging, medical conditions such as allergic eye disease, thyroid disorders, vitamin A deficiency, and corneal nerve desensitivity due to contact lenses or laser eye surgery.

Increased tear evaporation occurs due to the clogging of the small glands found on the edge of your eyelids. It mostly happens in patients suffering from skin problems and rosacea. Other common causes include blinking less frequently, eyelid problems, eye allergies, vitamin A deficiency, dry air and wind, and preservatives used in topical eye drops.

 

Risk Factors

You will more likely suffer from a dry eye if you eat a diet with low vitamin A content. Wearing contact lenses or undergoing refractive surgery can also increase your chances of developing this problem. Additionally, it mainly affects people older than fifty years and women.

To summarize, dry eye results from a shortage of tears in your eyes which limits lubrication. Common symptoms include sensitivity to light, a burning or stinging sensation, and eye fatigue. It is mainly caused by hormonal changes, allergic eye disease, inflamed eyelid glands, and autoimmune diseases. You can quickly develop the condition if you are older than fifty, a pregnant woman, wear contact lenses, or have had a refractive surgery before.