Dealing with dry eyes can be very frustrating. People struggle with irritation, redness, blurry vision, and even tension headaches because of dry eyes. The problem can compromise your quality of life, making it difficult to read, write, look at a computer screen, watch movies, etc. Extended periods of dryness can also cause physical damage to your eye, which is why it is important to seek treatment as quickly as possible.
Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eyes can happen for many reasons. In most cases, it is temporary and you can use drops to treat them. Sometimes it can be a result of an underlying health condition and you need to treat that to fix the issue.
- Hot and dry weather
- Extended screen time
- Certain medication
- Extended contact lens use
- Eye surgery
- Drug or alcohol abuse
If your dry eye problem persists for more than a couple of days, visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist for a more intensive treatment.
Types of Dry Eye Conditions
There are different types of dry eye conditions and they require different treatment approaches. Here’s a look at the three most common issues:
- Evaporative Dry Eye – People with this condition have abnormal tear evaporation rates. Tears evaporate naturally but the eye is still able to maintain a lipid layer to maintain moisture levels. However, if you have excessive evaporation, you have an abnormal tear film lipid layer. This problem can also happen if you have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. A little under 50% of all dry eye patients have this form of evaporative issues.
- Aqueous Deficiency Dry Eye Disease – If your aqueous tear secretion is low, you will have an unstable film of moisture over the eye. This only happens in around 15% of most dry eye patients but it can lead to evaporative disease if left untreated. Low secretion is very uncomfortable and can lead to problems like redness, irritation, and even sensitivity. Getting dust in your eye or wearing contact lenses can cause a painful reaction.
- Both – Some patients have a combination of evaporative dry eye and aqueous deficiency. This affects around 35% of all dry eye patients and can last for a long time. A combination of both is considered a more severe form of dry and requires extensive ongoing treatment.
There is no clear remedy for dry eyes. An optometrist will recommend solutions based on the severity and underlying health condition. You may also need to make a few lifestyle changes to help improve the issue.
For example, drinking more water, performing eye exercises, taking screen time breaks, etc, can also help improve dry eye.
Popular Dry Eye Drop Options
There are several dry eye drop products available in the market today. Some of the most popular, preservative-free choices include:
It is best to consult with an optometrist to get proper treatment if the dryness persists for a long time. Follow the doctor’s recommendations carefully for the best results. Don’t use eye drops if they cause any reaction or irritation. There are always alternatives available that can help if the products mentioned here don’t work out.