What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

December 28th, 2021

Are your eyes dehydrated, itchy, and irritated? Has your allergy medication stopped working? If so, you may have dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome happens when your eyes don’t produce enough quality tears to stay properly lubricated. Tears help keep your vision clear by adding much-needed moisture to your eye.

They also help by flushing out any dirt or foreign objects that may get into your eye. Keep reading to learn more about tears and dry eye syndrome!

Why Do Your Eyes Become Dry?

Healthy tears contain oil, water, and mucus. The water carries the necessary nutrients to your eyes, and the mucus spreads the water across the surface.

The oil in your tears helps prevent the water from evaporating too quickly. When you have dry eye syndrome, it’s caused by an imbalance between these three necessary parts. Most often, you lack oil in your tears.

Also, your eyes may not be producing enough tears. Either because of certain medications you’re taking, or a medical condition you may have.

If you have a medical condition like diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis, you may get dry eyes. And taking antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, or blood pressure medication can also contribute.

Also, when you age, your body naturally doesn’t produce as many tears as it did when you were younger. Dry eye syndrome is most common in adults over the age of fifty.

Another potential factor is your environment. If you’re a smoker or are in the wind or dry air for long periods, you’ll find that your eyes get dry and itchy.

The wind and dry air make your eyes naturally water. If your tears lack oil, they will disappear quickly and not help to relieve any dryness.

Common Symptoms of Dry Eye

When you have dry eye syndrome, you may notice some or all these symptoms: 

  • Red or inflamed eyes 
  • You feel a stinging or burning sensation in your eyes 
  • Your eyes are scratchy or itchy
  • Your vision is blurry 
  • You have unusual eye pain
  • Your contact lenses are no longer comfortable to wear
  • You feel like there is something stuck in your eye that won’t come out
  • Your eyelids feel heavy, and your eyes are watering a lot more than usual
  • Your eyes feel irritated all the time
  • There is a yellowish mucus coming from your eyes

How Do You Treat Dry Eyes?

If your eyes constantly feel irritated, talk to your eye doctor. Only then will you know for sure if you have dry eye syndrome.

There are many reasons why your eyes may feel itchy and irritated. Only your eye doctor can diagnose the cause and prescribe a treatment.

Treatment may consist of minimizing dryness and eye discomfort. Or it could entail restoring your tear quality and keeping tears in your eyes.

Artificial tears, or prescription eye drops, help add tears to your eyes. Your eye doctor may also want to place a tiny silicone plug into the tear duct of your eye. This punctal plug works to block the tears from draining out of your eye.

While you are waiting to see your eye doctor, you can relieve yourself by applying a warm compress to your eyelids. Or, try flushing your eyes with cold water a few times a day.

Taking an Omega-3 fatty acid supplement daily will help with tear production. And resting your eyes from time to time will help relieve irritation.

If you have been suffering from any dry eye syndrome symptoms, don’t put off getting your eyes checked. Schedule an appointment at Laser Eye Center in Hunstville, AL, to get your eyes feeling healthy again!