Facts About Dry Eyes

Dry eyesWhy do I have such dry eyes?

Dry eyes happen when there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears help maintain the health of the front of the eye, necessary for clear vision. Dry eyes can be common problem, especially for the elderly.  Dry eyes can also be the result of a hot dry climate or exposure to environmental irritants.

There are two common causes for dry eyes, according to the American Optometric Association.

  1. Inadequate tear production: Tears are produced by several glands around the eyes.  When tear production slows, a common symptom of aging, or environmental factors such as wind or heat increase the rate of tear evaporation, dry eye condition develops.
  2. Poor quality of tears.  Tears have three layers, oil, water and mucus. The oil protects the water layer from evaporation and the mucus spreads the water evenly across the eye. When one or more of the layers are dysfunctional, symptoms of dry eyes will develop.

The most common form of dry eyes is related to a dysfunction in the water layer in the eyes, a condition known as called keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

 What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

  • Stinging, burning or scratchy eyes
  • Eye redness and eye fatigue
  • Feeling as if you have something in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Excessive tearing
  • Changes in vision, particularly at the end of the day

Are there home remedies for dry eyes?

There are over the counter eye drops that will create artificial tears. But lifestyle changes can also be helpful. Blink regularly when reading or using a computer. Wear sunglasses outdoor to reduce tear evaporation. Use dietary supplements with fatty acids, such as omega-3, that help tear production.  If the air is dry, use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air.

When should I talk to the medical team at FastMed?

If you have prolonged symptoms of dry eyes, you may want to discuss it with a medical professional. There are risks when dry eyes are left untreated, including more frequent eye infections and even possible scarring on the cornea. We’re open 365 days a year and walk-ins are always welcome. We will examine your eyes and see if there is a need for prescription eye drops. If necessary we can and will refer you to a specialist Find the FastMed Urgent Care nearest you and get some relief from dry eyes.

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