Dry eyes can be so frustrating, especially when it becomes a chronic issue. The irritation alone can dramatically affect your quality of life — it becomes hard to focus and concentrate at work or school and you find yourself spending a good deal of time and energy blinking trying to squeeze all the moisture into that you can.
If you suffer from dry eyes there are many factors that may be contributing to it and at Long Island Ophthalmic Concepts, we’re here to help you get to the root of this issue with you. Join us in today’s post as we explore what causes dry eyes.
Dry eye syndrome occurs when a person isn’t producing enough tears to properly nourish and lubricate their eyes, and we need our tears to better maintain the surface oft he eye and support clear vision. While anyone can suffer from dry eyes, it predominately occurs in older adults.
Tears matter because with each blink, lubrication is spread across the cornea not only hydrating the eye, but clearing it of debris and preventing eye infections. Our tears are layered being composed of water, oil, and mucus, and each layer plays a crucial role in the health of our eyes. The oil prevents the water from evaporating and the mucus helps spread and coat the surface of the eye.
If this balance is disrupted or there are any deficiencies in the three layers, symptoms of dry eye occur.
Symptoms of dry eyes include:
There are many factors that cause dry eyes, and we’ll look at some of the most common ones below.
Environment – Whether you live in a climate that is dry or has a lot of wind, this alone can create a concern for dry eyes. Other factors such as smoking or sitting at a computer for a long period of time, greatly affect how our eyes are able to naturally lubricate themselves.
Age – One of the less discussed signs of aging are dry eyes. Many older adults over the age of 65 suffer from chronically dry eyes, which is just apart of the aging process!
Gender – Women suffer from dry eyes more than men and this is a result of the hormonal fluctuations they experience throughout their lives. Whether it’s with pregnancy, menopause, or even from oral contraceptives, the influx of changing hormones increase their likelihood of developing dry eyes.
Medical conditions – People who manage diabetes or arthritis tend to experience dry eyes more than those who don’t. Inflammation can also impact the quality of tears, so if you’re dealing with chronic inflammation, it may leave your eyes feeling extra dry.
There are a myriad of factors on why your eyes are dry, relating to your lifestyle, age, gender, and medical history. Now that we know what may be causing dry eyes, are you interested in a solution?