Dry eyes can be unpleasant and very painful. Symptoms can include irritation, a gritty and burning feeling, excess watering, and blurred vision.
Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye is common and often can often become a chronic problem, particularly in senior citizens.
This condition is much more prevalent then anyone realizes and will usually strike older people, aged 50 and older.
For example, statistics show that for women over the age of 50, there are 3.2 million sufferers.
For men over the age of 50, there are 1.68 million sufferers.
Dry Eyes: What Tears Do.
Tears are made up of three layers. The layer closest to the cornea is a thin mucus that helps the tears stick to the surface.
The middle layer contains the watery portion of the tears. And the outer layer is composed of fatty oils that lubricate our eyes, wash away dust, and maintain a smooth surface so that we can see clearly.
Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes stop making tears or when tears get blocked from doing their job. Much of this problem happens as we get older. For example, auto-immune diseases such as lupus and arthritis. Other illnesses such as diabetes, strokes, and thyroid problems can also trigger dry eyes.
Drugs such as blood pressure medications, anti-anxiety pills, and anti-depressants can also block your tears from doing their job.
All of this leads to a dry eye syndrome that becomes a chronic issue, that is the bad news. But, the good news is that it can be successfully treated.
Dry Eyes: Try These Remedies
Use a humidifier at night and place it next to where you sleep. Dry air will clog your tear ducts. In addition, wear wrap-around sunglasses to protect you against wind, cold temperatures, and sunlight.
Inflammatory skin conditions, such as rosacea (skin rash), can prevent the glands in your eyelids, from producing enough natural oil. In fact, many of the treatments people use to treat rosacea on their face also helps with dry eye. That includes oral antibiotics, such as tetracycline or doxycycline.
Mild cases of dry eye can often be helped with lubricating eye drops.
It’s important to keep your eyelids healthy and clean, particularly if you wear eye makeup. The entire eye area (lids included) should be clear of toxins, allergens, and crusting. Left in place, this can lead to inflammation and clog the oil glands.