Every time you blink, your healthy eyes would be lubricated by a fluid that’s a combination of oil, water, and mucus which helps protect and moisturize the eyes. Dry eye is a common disorder that occurs when people are unable to produce enough of the natural tears that protect the eye and keep it moist. Dry eye syndrome occurs at any age, especially in older adults.
Our eyes produce tears all the time, even when we are very happy. In normal conditions, eyes are covered with a fluid to remain lubricated and smooth and prevents the eyes from becoming dry and inflamed. Tears are made of water, fatty oils, protein, electrolytes, substances to fight off bacteria. If tear production is decreased or tear mixture is unbalanced, a person is more likely to get dry eyes. Besides, eyelid infection, exposure to sun, wind, dry climate for a long period, can also increase the risk of getting dry eyes.
For people with dry eye syndrome, they will have signs and symptoms below:
- A sensation of stinging or burning
- A feeling of something in the eye
- Eye redness
- Blurry vision
- Sensitive to light, smoke and wind
- Uncomfortable when wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty keeping the eyes open
There are a number of treatments for dry eyes. Choosing which kind of treatment depends heavily on the severity of your eyes. Artificial tears are a good temporary solution to dry eyes. They can provide immediate relief, and are available without prescription. Eye drops without preservatives can be used as often as necessary. However, eye drops with a preservative should not use more than four times one day.
Medications like Restasis is also commonly prescribed for dry eye syndrome. This drug treatment could increase the amount of tear production and lower the risk of eye inflammation. If your dry eyes are severe, and it is useless to use artificial tears, you may ask your doctor for this drug medication.
In daily lives, you can try some home remedies to treat or prevent dry eye syndrome:
- Use a humidifier to put moisture back into dry air.
- Don’t wear your contacts for a long time. Wash your hands before handling them.
- Lay a warm, damp washcloth across your eyelids for a couple minutes.
- Well-balanced diet with enough protein and vitamins to keep your eyes healthy.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes from wind and sun.
With these simple changes you could begin to notice a real improvement. If you are still irritated by dry eyes, make sure to see your eye doctor.