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Do You Suffer From Dry Eyes?

Dry Eyes affect an estimated 3.2 million women age 50 and over, and an estimated 1.68 million men age 50 and over. It can make everyday activities more difficult to perform, such as reading and using a computer. However, if you struggle with dry eyes, luckily, there is no need to continue to suffer. Dry eyes are treatable and pose very few severe vision complications.

If you suffer from dry eyes your symptoms may include stinging or burning eyes, sandy gritty feeling, episodes of excess tears followed by dry periods, redness, blurred vision, eye fatigue, stringy discharge from eyes, uncomfortable contact lenses, and/or heavy eyelids.

Dry eye occurs when the eye fails to produce tears properly. There are two types of dry eyes. Aqueous Tear Deficient dry eye is when the lacrimal glands, which help produce the watery component of tears, fails to produce enough. Evaporative dry eye occurs when there is inflammation of the meibomian glands, which are the glands that produce the oily part of tears, making them more stable and slowing evaporation. Tears are a small thing that many of us don’t think twice about, but are essential to overall eye health and function. They help clean the eye, keeping it clear of debris and dust, as well as protecting the eye by washing away bacteria and infections. Most people think that tears are comprised of merely water and salt, but they are much more complex and are made up of proteins, electrolytes and vitamins. As you can see, tears and their production are a small thing that make a big difference.

Now that you know the importance of tears and what exactly dry eye is, you may be wondering what causes these deficiencies. As with many functions of the body, there are a lot of factors that can cause dry eye, such as:

* Medication – Many medications can cause dry eyes as a side effect
* Diseases – Skin disease on or around the eyelids, diseases of the eye, thyroid disease, or immune system disorders.
* Women who are pregnant
* Women on hormone replacement therapy
* Lasik surgery can cause dry eyes temporarily, but usually clears up in about 3-6 months
* A result of chemical or thermal burns
* Allergies
* Infrequent blinking, usually from reading or staring at at TV or computer screen too long
* Excessive or insufficient dosages of vitamins
* Some homeopathic remedies have been reported to cause dry eye

As previously mentioned, there is no need to suffer from the effects of dry eyes. Together with your doctor, you can decide on a treatment plan that works best for you. If you have been struggling with any of the above mentioned symptoms, it may be time to schedule your next visit to get some relief. It’s also an excellent time to schedule your annual exam before the end of the year, especially if you’ll be using your flex spending account! Don’t let your benefits run out and go to waste before the year is up! You can request your next appointment by clicking here, or calling our office at (770) 834-0212 to schedule.