What you Need to Know about Dry Eye

Have you heard of dry eye? There are commercials that talk about dry eye, leaving many curious as to what exactly dry could be. We all get dry eyes from time to time, but when eye doctors talk about dry eye, they’re referring to a condition that affects millions of people. It’s more common as people age, and more women than men have dry eye. Read on to learn some important facts about dry eye.

  • Dry eye happens because of a chronic lack of lubrication on the eye’s surface. This often happens because of poor quality tears. Tears contain oil, water, and mucus, with the water providing moisture, the oil preventing evaporation and the mucin spreading tears evenly. If any of these components is lacking, it can result in dry, irritated eyes.
  • Dry eye is more prevalent in colder months. The air is typically a little bit dryer in winter, and running the heater can also dry out your eyes.
  • Focusing on something without blinking can increase your risk of dry eye. This could be a book, a computer or your phone, so when you’re concentrating, make sure you’re blinking and giving your eyes frequent breaks.
  • Dry eye doesn’t just mean your eyes feel dry. In fact, the symptoms of dry eye include not only dryness, but also itching, light sensitivity, blurry vision, feeling of something in the eye, burning, and even watering. It may seem counterintuitive for watering to be a sign of dry eye, but it happens because when eyes aren’t properly lubricated, they produce reflexive tears. Unfortunately, these tears don’t stick around long enough to solve the problem.
  • There are four levels of dry eye. Levels one and two are typically easy to manage with OTC treatments, while levels three and four warrant professional treatment
  • Your doctor can help you find the right treatment for dry eye. Options for dry eye treatment include prescription medicine, punctal plugs, and surgical intervention.
  • You might be able to improve dry eye by modifying your diet. Dry eye is an inflammatory condition, so eating foods that reduce inflammation, like Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, can help with the problem. It’s also important to stay properly hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

Do you think you might have dry eye? If you answered yes, it’s time to seek out a professional diagnosis. If you’re looking for an ophthalmologist or optometrist in Derry, Londonderry or Windham, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating over thirty years in eye care, we proudly provide our patients with personalized eye care, using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

 

 

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