Do you have uncomfortable symptoms such as dry, burning eyes that disrupt your daily activities? You may be dealing with a common condition known as dry eye disease. While dry eyes may seem simply an annoyance at first, left untreated, this chronic condition can impact vision, cause discomfort and lead to long-term damage.
We’ll look at what causes dry eye disease, how it can be treated and prevented, and offer helpful tips for managing day-to-day activities with this condition.
Identifying root causes and symptoms
Experiencing dry, red and gritty eyes could mean you’re a part of the 16 million Americans who are estimated to suffer from dry eye. It’s a condition that affects the tear film which covers your eyes and helps you see clearly. Think of it like a three-layered blanket. When those layers are smooth and stable, your eyes are happy. However, when tear production slows down, or the quality of tears decreases, your eyes may feel like they’re missing a blanket altogether. This is where the itchiness, discomfort, redness, and watery eyes come into the picture.
These symptoms can have a significant impact on your daily life, disrupting your contact-wearing experience and making them harder to wear than usual. You may also struggle to see when driving at nighttime or focusing on your computer screen without those tears that normally lubricate your eyes. All these symptoms can add up to a frustrating and exhausting experience. But by visiting our experienced eye doctors, you can get to the root of the problem and find relief for your dry eyes.
Know the risk factors
Something to keep in mind is the risk factors of dry eye disease. Did you know that several lifestyle and environmental factors can make dry eyes even worse? Dry weather and pollution can impact dry eye disease, as well as spending too much time in front of digital devices or wearing contact lenses for extended periods.
But it’s not just external factors that can contribute to dry eye – certain medications, medical conditions, and surgeries such as LASIK and cataract surgery can also increase the risk. And let’s not forget about smoking and allergies, which can also aggravate dry eyes. So, if you’re already dealing with this uncomfortable condition, it might be worth taking a closer look at any factors that could make it worse.
Dry eye disease treatment
Now that you’re familiar with dry eye disease, you’re probably wondering how to treat it. Our friendly eye doctors are here to lend a helping hand with their top tips on managing dry eyes.
- Limit your exposure to wind, air conditioning, fans, and heaters, as these can cause your tears to evaporate, leaving your eyes feeling dried out.
- Add moisture to the air indoors with a humidifier and keep your eyes feeling fresh and well-lubricated.
- If heading out, protect your eyes from UV, wind, and dry air, preferably with wraparound sunglasses. The additional shielding around the eyes will help your eyes retain moisture and shield them from the elements.
- If you spend long hours in front of a computer or digital devices, take frequent breaks and remember to blink! One great way to do this is to follow the 20:20:20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- One habit that may be tough to kick but crucial for your eye health is smoking. Quitting will benefit not only your overall health but your eyes, too, helping to minimize smoke from irritating your eyes and reducing your risk of developing sight-threatening conditions.
- Hydration is vital for keeping your eyes lubricated, so drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Keep using artificial tears like eye drops regularly throughout the day to lubricate the eyes and keep them fresh.
Take control of dry eye disease
If you’re struggling with dry eyes and want to dive deeper into treatment options, don’t hesitate to contact us. At Family Eyecare Quincy, IL, we’re here to address any questions or concerns. We’re just one visit away, ready to help you start your journey towards effective dry eye disease treatment to manage your symptoms. Let’s get started today!