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You’d be surprised to find out how many medically diagnosed eye conditions you can find. Dry eye syndrome is one of those common eye... What Should You Know About Dry Eye Syndrome

You’d be surprised to find out how many medically diagnosed eye conditions you can find. Dry eye syndrome is one of those common eye conditions that you should be aware of. [1] The fact is that if you have dry eye syndrome, it’s essential for you to know how to treat it.

Failure to do so, can lead to more serious problems for your eyes. In fact, in severe cases, this eye condition can lead to severe visual acuity. However, there are more eye conditions that you should be wary of if you have dry eye syndrome.

According to the National Eye Institute, there are millions of Americans who are affected by this syndrome. [2] Adults are the ones who are mainly affected by it. Furthermore, the American Academy of Ophthalmology has distinguished what the main cause of dry eye syndrome is.

According to extensive research on this syndrome, the main factor is your tears. The thing is, your tears play a significant role in ensuring that your eyes remain wet at all times. This means that your tear glands are constantly ensuring that your eyes have a sufficient amount of tears.

However, in some cases, your tear glands can struggle to produce quality tear films. Your tear film consists of three vital layers that are essential to keep the moisture in your eye at the required level. These can be summarized as follows.

  • A mucus layer that helps to spread the other two layers across the surface of your eye.
  • An oily layer that’s responsible for keeping the surface of your eye smooth and wet.
  • A watery layer that keeps your eye clean by keeping foreign bodies such as sand particles at bay.

If these layers are affected by any factors, then your eyes won’t have an adequate amount of moisture that they need to fully function. As a result, the smoothness of your eye can be impacted. The fact of the matter is that each layer plays a significant role in ensuring that the smoothness of your eyes is well maintained.

What Symptoms Should You Look Out For?

First things first, it’s important for you to understand that dry eye syndrome won’t affect you the same way that it affects other people. But, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA), there are certain symptoms that can be present in different people. [3] If you experience any of the following common symptoms, you should consider seeing your eye doctor immediately.

  • A stinging sensation that won’t go away in your eyes.
  • A strong sandy irritation in your eyes.
  • Your eyes turning red.
  • Teary eyes.
  • A loss of vision acuity.

If you have any of these symptoms or a combination of them, your optometrist should consider a diagnosis. Before reaching a conclusion on whether you have dry eye syndrome or not, there’ll be a myriad of things that are considered. The main considerations are your medical and social history.

The AOA notes that getting your extensive medical history to make a diagnosis is essential to find out if you have any underlying medical conditions or not. This stage plays a crucial role in determining your prognosis. Generally, the most common factors that specialists contribute to dry eye syndrome are your environment and medications.

Once your history has been taken you should move to the second phase of your diagnosis. This involves a thorough examination of your external eye. The easiest way to find the answers to your problem is by using blink dynamics as well as assessing the structure of your eyelids.

Other tests such as bright light and magnification are used extensively examine your eye. Moreover, your tears are used as the main source to evaluate if you have any abnormalities. Should you have dry eye syndrome, then various treatment options are provided.

How Do You Treat Dry Eye Syndrome?

The fact is that to treat your dry eye syndrome, a lot of focus should fix towards the quality and quantity of your eyes. [4] Your treatment will depend on how mild or severe your case is. If your condition is mild, then eye drops are sufficient to add the required moisture.

On the other hand, severe cases are usually treated with prescribed medications such as Restasis or Xiidra. In other cases, a change in your lifestyle should also assist in improving your condition. But, if resting more, reducing screen time, and adequate hydration don’t improve your condition, then surgery might be your only option left.

Factors That Influence Dry Eye Syndrome

According to the AOA, there are five main factors that can be contributed to your dry eye syndrome. [5] These can be summarized as follows.

1. Age

Unfortunately, the older you get, the less effective your eyes become. Aging diminishes the quality and quantity of your eyes. If you’re above the age of 65, you’re likely to suffer from dry eye syndrome.

2. Gender

You’d be surprised to find that the hormonal changes that affect women throughout their lives have a major impact in their visual impairment.

3. Medications

If you’re on antidepressants or antihistamines, one of the side effects is that your tear production can be affected.

4. Medical Conditions

It’s common for people with chronic conditions such as diabetes to suffer from visual impairment.

5. Environmental Conditions

If you’re susceptible to an environment with high dust or smoke exposure, your eyes can suffer heavily.