What is causing your dry eyes?

What is causing your dry eyes?

Dry Eye Disease is a serious condition that causes discomfort for many people. Symptoms may include scratchiness, irritation, and reddened eyes that occur day after day. Having dry eyes means that your eyes are not being lubricated by a quality type of tears. Your tears are a combination of oils, mucus, and water. This combination lubricates your eyes to help protect your eyes from particles in the air that cause irritation and infections. If you are not producing quality tears, it is likely that you will suffer from Dry Eye Disease.

There are many causes of Dry Eye Disease. A few are:

  • Age and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD)
  • LASIK Eye Surgery
  • Extended Contact Lens Use
  • Eye Makeup Misuse

If you leave your dry eye symptoms untreated, you could be risking the overall health of your eyes. When your eyes aren’t protected by the fluids that make up your tears, the risk of infection increases. It is important to take care of your dry eyes not only for the comfort level, but to help avoid further damage to your eye health.

Avoid Making Dry Eyes Worse

Everyone can benefit from drinking plenty of water and adding foods that are high in vitamin A (carrots, broccoli, and liver) and omega-3 fatty acids (fish, walnuts, and supplements) into their diets. These simple dietary changes can help keep your eyes and tear-production healthy. However, they will most likely not fully resolve your dry eye symptoms and you may benefit from in-office specialty Dry Eye Treatments.

Age and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) – In 86% of Dry Eye Disease cases, there is a problem with the secretions from the eyelid oil glands. Over the years, these glands can atrophy causing their oils to become unhealthy. This results in a poor quality tear film. When this happens, the eyes become irritated and inflamed. The sooner MGD is diagnosed and treated the better for long term eye health.

LASIK Eye Surgery – After you undergo LASIK Eye Surgery, the cornea can experience some sensitivity loss. This means that the need for tear moisture is no longer sensed and can cause the development of dry eye. Having dry eyes immediately after LASIK is often not permanent as long as you follow the post-surgery care instructions provided by your doctor. In some patients, post LASIK surgery loss of corneal sensitivity can become a true risk factor for Dry Eye Disease. Special tear dye testing is a diagnostic for this condition.

Extended Contact Lens Use – Contact lenses can absorb the tears your eyes produce if you wear them for long periods of time. Depending on your sensitivity, try to only wear your contacts eight to twelve hours a day. Using fresh contact lenses and lubricating eye drops are important for healthy contact lens wear.

Eye Makeup Misuse – Makeup wearers need to be careful about what they put on and around their eyes. Eyeliner, mascara, or any other products around your eyes may lead or worsen your dry eye symptoms. Do not use waterproof mascara except for weddings and funerals. Makeup should never be applied to the inner part of your lash line because it will damage your tear film. Be sure to throw away eye liner and mascara after three months of use. Old products tend to crumble when dry and can block oil gland secretions. Always remove your eye makeup thoroughly before you go to sleep.

If you believe you suffer from dry eye symptoms, don’t worry, Relief is in Sight! Contact Dry Eye Spa of West Michigan to schedule a free Dry Eye Evaluation with us today!

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