Have you noticed your eyes becoming watery, sore, red and dry over the last few months? You may be suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome.
At this time of year, dry eye can be commonly caused by the change in the outdoor environment such as wind and cold weather, and increased use of heating indoors.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is one of the most common eye conditions. It is often caused by the lack of lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye.
Dry eye is caused when you either don’t produce enough normal tears to lubricate the eye, or the ones you do produce are of poor quality, causing the tears to dry up too quickly and the eye to become irritated and dry.
Factors That Can Cause Dry Eye
There are many different factors that can increase the risk of Dry Eye. These Include:
- Computer Use. When using a computer or a device, we tend to blink less frequently which leads to greater tear evaporation and increased risk of dry eye.
- Contact Lenses. Contact lens wear can contribute to dry eye problems and be very uncomfortable.
- Blepharitis. Blepharitis is a condition that affects the eyelids, making them sore and inflamed. It is quite common to have a combination of Dry Eye and Blepharitis.
- Ageing. Although dry eye can occur at any age, it becomes increasingly more common after you reach 50.
- Menopause. Post-menopausal women are more likely to get dry eye due to hormonal changes altering the tear film.
- Indoor Environment. Air conditioning and heating systems all decrease indoor humidity or accelerate tear evaporation causing dry eye.
- Outdoor Environment. Hotter climates and dry, or windy conditions can increase the risk of dry eye.
- Smoking. In addition to dry eye, smoking is linked to serious eye conditions including macular degeneration and cataracts.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
If you suffer with Dry eye you may suffer from:
- A sandy or gritty feeling
- Sore eyes
- Uncomfortable eyes
- Itchy or burning
- Short-term blurred vision
- Watery eyes
It may sound odd that watery eyes are a symptom of dry eye, but this is because you are producing poor quality tears that aren’t able to lubricate the eye, therefore these leave the eye as if you are crying.
Treatment For Dry Eye
Most cases of Dry Eye will need long-term, ongoing treatment. There are many types of eye drops and gels that will help your eyes feel more comfortable and reduce the symptoms.
The best recommendation is to use eye drops that don’t contain preservatives. Eye drops can help reduce irritation by lubricating and protecting the surface of the eye. Most contain an ingredient called sodium hyaluronate, which is known to be very effective in treating dry eye.
We have a wide range of eye drops in stock, that contain different strengths of sodium hyaluronate depending on the severity of your symptoms.
For more information on dry eye and information on the best type of eyedrop to us, feel free to pop in and speak to a member of staff.