Dry eye syndrome can be seasonal or chronic depending on the triggers or underlying issues. It happens when your tears evaporate quickly or when the tear glands produce insufficient tears. The symptoms include redness or an uncomfortable stinging feeling in your eyes.
Some of the most common triggers include:
Several health complications can contribute to dry eye. Some include blepharitis, Sjogren’s syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune disorders. Blepharitis results from the clogging or inflammation of the oil glands in the inner eyelids.
The condition has no cure, though you can reduce the symptoms by using some home remedies. Sjogren’s syndrome interferes with tear production by causing white blood cells to attack the tear and salivary glands. Treatment may involve surgery when eye drops seem ineffective.
Dry eye can affect people of all ages, though it becomes more prevalent as you age. It is common in people above 50 since this is when your body reduces the production of tears.
Menopause also results in dry eye syndrome by causing hormonal imbalances. Hormones assist in the production of tears, and any interruption may reduce tear production. The same case can also affect women using birth control drugs or during pregnancy. Lubricating eye drops can offer relief if hormone replacement therapy does not work.
Exposure to environmental conditions like dry climates and wind can trigger dry eye syndrome by increasing tear evaporation. Low humidity is also a contributing factor. Working or spending many hours close to an air vent can cause temporary dry eye syndrome. If you need to spend time in this location, use a humidifier to prevent tear evaporation.
Smoking or working in a smoky environment can also dry your eyes. If you are an avid smoker, try to quit or opt for nicotine replacement therapy. Your doctor can prescribe medications that can help curb cravings. Seasonal allergies resulting from changes in weather patterns can also trigger dry eye syndrome. They can make your eyes watery, itchy, and red.
Tear ingredients include mucus, water, and oil. Some forms of medication can cause dry eye by interfering with the generation of mucus. Some of these medications include antidepressants, diuretics, and antihistamines. Beta-blockers that help treat hypertension also have the same effect.
If your drugs cause such side effects, seek advice from your doctor. They may lower your current dose or prescribe an alternative medication. You can also combine artificial tears with your pills to help lubricate your eyes.
Vision correction surgeries like LASIK can trigger dry eye syndrome. The procedure involves severing some nerves in the cornea that may cause the eye to produce lesser tears. After healing from the surgery, your eyes will go back to normal.
Vitamin A is vital for the health of your eyes. Lack of it can cause dry eye and other vision problems like night blindness. Doctors can diagnose this disorder by running blood tests. Treatment involves eating foods rich in vitamin A, such as broccoli, fish, carrots, eggs, and spinach.
For more on common dry eye triggers, visit the iCare Vision Center LLC at our Seattle, Washington office. Call (206) 502-2800 to book an appointment today.
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