Dry eye syndrome is characterized by difficulty producing tears or an inability to produce good quality tears. Several factors are believed to cause dry eye, like smoking and air-conditioning. Extremely hot or dry conditions can also cause dry eye making summer an uncomfortable time for many individuals. Additionally, any changes to the composition of the tears can result in dry eye. One feature a large number of people suffering from dry eye syndrome have in common is age. The older people get, the less oils their bodies produce, making them more prone to dry eye.
Tears Play a Vital Role in Overall Eye Health
In the popular imagination, tears are associated with sentimentality and weakness. In reality, they play an important role in the eyes. Tears are produced in the lacrimal gland and serve an important function for eye health and clear vision. They clear away debris that makes it past the eyelashes, and keep the surface of the eyes moist. Not only do tears serve an important hygienic function by providing a safeguard from bacteria, they also contribute to overall eye comfort. The proteins, vitamins, and other minerals found within the tears are vital for preventing eye infections.
Tears are produced on a regular basis, but they also show up to address emergencies or irregularities in the eyes such as irritations, infections, and of course, heightened emotion.
Environmental Factors and Pre-existing Health Conditions Can Cause Dry Eye
For some individuals dry eye is a temporary discomfort while for others it is a chronic condition. Dry eye is caused by a number of factors including environmental and pre-existing health conditions. Skin diseases in the eye’s surrounding area can lead to dry eye. Moreover, an imbalance of certain vitamins (either too much or too little) and certain autoimmune diseases can also cause dry eye.
A person’s lifestyle can also contribute to their chances of developing dry eye. Irritation from cigarette smoke or wearing contacts can lead to the condition. Prolonged periods of time in front of computer or television screens are believed to put individuals at risk of dry eye as well. Additionally, allergies and some medications are potential contributing factors. Dry eye is also a very well-known side effect of LASIK.
Aging Is A Common Cause of Dry Eye Syndrome In Many Individuals
While people can suffer from dry eye at any age, elderly people typically suffer from it the most. An estimated 50 million Americans over the age of 50 experiences dry eye symptoms and of that group, a disproportionate number of females are affected. Hormonal fluctuations also contribute to dry eye, which is why a remarkable number of older, menopausal women suffer from the condition.
Relieving Discomfort and Treating Dry Eye Syndrome
The way your dry eye is treated depends on the nature of the condition. Cases of dry eye vary from mild to severe, and some individuals suffer from dry eye because of an underlying health condition. If this is the case, the priority is to address these pre-existing problems, which will hopefully solve the dry eye syndrome.
Mild cases of dry eye can be treated independently by using artificial tears whenever the eyes feel dry. They can be used as an initial treatment if the discomfort is minimal. Additionally, afflicted individuals can make lifestyle changes like wearing sunglasses to prevent rapid tear evaporation or regularly keeping their surrounding areas clean by buying an air filter or humidifier.
If your dry eye is continuous and affecting your quality of life, stopping by to see an eye care professional at Davidorf Eye Group in Los Angeles is the best next step. One of our dedicated professionals can sit down with you and discuss your options. Treatment methods include over the counter solutions like eye drops or a minor procedure that can provide a more concrete solution. Davidorf Eye Group is committed to meeting the eye care needs of the Greater Los Angeles area. Book your appointment today!