Dry eye is a common condition in which a person’s eyes do not produce enough quality tears to properly lubricate the eyes. Tears are absolutely necessary for the nourishment and care of the eye. Tears maintain the outer eyes, providing the user with clear vision and keeps the eye healthy. Every time you blink, the moisture in your eye is spread across it, which is why tears are an important part of keeping your eyes healthy.
Dry eyes are more common in older adults. It is caused by two things:
1. Inadequate amount of tears. Glands in and around the eyes are responsible for producing tears. If they do not produce enough, then dry eye can occur.
2. Low-quality tears. Tears are made out of three different components: mucus, oil, and water. If the tears are not comprised of a good balance of these, then they can evaporate quickly from the eyes, leading to dryness. This special combination keeps the surface of your eyes lubricated and clear.
There are various causes for this dysfunction in a person’s tears: hormone changes, disease, inflamed glands or even allergies. Dry eye can lead to things like eye infections, damage to the surfaces of your eyes, and an overall decreased quality of life. The eyes are very important, and dry eyes can keep you from doing everyday tasks, such as reading or being able to safely keep your eyes on the road if they are hurting. A simple solution is to keep artificial tears on hand and keep your eyes well lubricated throughout the day, even if they feel fine. Usually, artificial tears will help promote the natural tear production of your eyes.
But there are solutions to stopping chronic dry eye. Speaking to an optometrist or your primary care physician will open the door for communication on how to help dry eye.