Why Are Your Eyes Dry?
7 October 2016
Dry eye is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide.
In fact, it’s one of the most common reasons that patients pay a visit to their eye doctor. We’ve all had those days where our eyes feel dry, tired and irritated. But what does it mean? And what if it persists?
What Is Dry Eye Disease?
Tears are essential for eye health and visual performance. They protect the eye from infections and lubricate the eye’s surface, keeping it moist and washing away dust and debris. When the eye fails to produce enough tears, or the tears are not of the correct consistency, dry eye can occur.
Dry eye is often a chronic problem–particularly in older adults–although it can occur among any age group. Some possible causes of dry eye are:
· Aging, especially hormone changes caused by menopause
· Certain medications such as antihistamines, birth control pills, antidepressants and some antibiotics
· Infrequent blinking during high-focus activities such as working from a computer, reading, watching television or playing video games can lead to dry eye symptoms
· Other illnesses are associated with dry eye, such as rheumatoid arthritis and Sjogren’s syndrome
Experiencing dry eye can be uncomfortable and bothersome. Symptoms vary from case to case, however some report blurred vision, light sensitivity, itching and redness and a gritty feeling in the eye. As ironic as it sounds, a common symptom of dry eyes is excessive tearing and watery eyes. This happens because when the eyes are dry, the body may overcompensate and produce too many tears.