Getting to the Root Cause of Dry Eye Syndrome

  • Posted on: Jun 30 2020
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Dry eye syndrome is a common problem that can affect adults of all ages. In some cases, we see symptoms similar to dry eye syndrome occur in teens. These symptoms include redness, a gritty or foreign body sensation, and tearing. Some people who struggle with severe dry eye syndrome may notice a thick mucus at the corners of their eyes or around their eyelashes. Because the condition is referred to as a “syndrome” or sometimes as a “disease,” many people misunderstand dry eyes as a problem that can occur on a scale. Symptoms are not always severe nor do they always persist for days or months. Furthermore, there are a few different reasons why dry eye syndrome may develop. We discuss those here.

What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

It helps to know what may be at the heart of dry eye symptoms so that proper care can be provided. Managing this condition may include home remedies as well as medical treatment provided by an ophthalmologist. Dry eye syndrome may be caused by:

  • Computer use. Most people use a computer for at least some of their daily activities. When not using a computer with a large, bright screen, people may be using other digital devices with smaller screens. Size is not the issue. Whenever we are staring at a screen, we aren’t blinking. Studies show that any task that requires a lot of attention will cause our blinking to slow. This leads to digital eye strain. Fortunately, if dry eyes are only triggered by the use of digital devices, symptoms may resolve by taking a break and using over-the-counter lubricating eye drops as needed. If symptoms persist, other factors could be occurring alongside this one.
  • If you’ve noticed that there are days when your eyes feel more irritated than others, you realize that the weather can affect your tear film. This can often happen in colder months due to a lack of humidity in the atmosphere, and it can be worse if it is also windy outside. If weather triggers dry eyes, lubricating eye drops may need to be used for a few days. Wearing glasses outdoors can also help block the wind.
  • The natural tear film is what keeps the eyes from getting dry. However, this tear film sometimes doesn’t have the right ratios of oil to water and mucus. Blepharitis is inflammation that occurs due to a blockage in the meibomian glands that produce oil for the tear film. Sometimes, the glands can be managed by applying a warm, moist cloth to the eyes. However, blepharitis often needs to be treated with a simple, effective treatment performed in an ophthalmologist’s office.

Dry eye doesn’t have to create persistent discomfort. Contact our North Canton, Canfield, or Alliance office for help.

Posted in: Dry Eyes

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