January 4, 2008

Dry eyes troubling you?

eyeDo you feel unpleasantness in the eyes or the presence of foreign objects, particularly a feeling of sand particles being lodged in your eyes? Do you experience discomfort even after a brief exposure to cold winds, air conditioners or after reading books even for a short period?Does your vision blur after prolonged use of computers, tasks like sewing and embroidery or with a few hours of television viewing? Does this discomfort and eye-strain tend to worsen at the end of the day?If you are experiencing these and various such analogous symptoms, you could be suffering from a condition called dry eyes.

As we all know, our eyes are constantly lubricated by the tears from tear glands to keep them moist and hydrated. This helps to protect the eyes by washing away the dust particles, provides oxygen and nutrition to the cornea and prevents infections. When tears produced by the eyes are insufficient then you could end up with dry eyes. Some common causes include:

* Age: As we get older, the tear production diminishes, leaving the eye too dry.

* Diseases including diabetes, Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis or Parkinson's.

* Hormonal changes, especially after menopause

* As a side-effect of certain prescription medications.

* Hot, dry or windy conditions: High altitude, air-conditioning, cold weather, and smoke can also cause dry eyes.

* Frequent usage of computers and hours of television watching or too much reading.

* Some contact lenses users can experience dry eyes when their contacts seem to work against moisturization.

* An eye injury or other problems with your eyes or eyelids

* Vitamin A deficiency or insomnia can also lead to dry eyes.

* Eye surgeries for vision correction like LASIK also can aggravate dry eye.

Although dry eyes may not cause much damage, it is in your own interest to consult your doctor if there are prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes. Your ophthalmologist or eye doctor can check for dry eye by examining your eyes, pinpoint the exact cause and suggest appropriate medications and treatment.

The following self care measures will help:

* Drink plenty of water.

* Protect the eyes from harsh weather conditions like wind and dust.

* Avoid smoking and second hand smoke.

* Use a humidifier, especially in the winter.

* Make sure the medications that you are taking are not causing dry eyes.

* Eat healthy food with nutrients like vitamin A, C and E and those containing omega-3 fatty acids.

Keep taking a break and blinking often when your are watching TV, using computers or when you are indulging in eye-straining activities.

* Do not wear contact lenses for prolonged periods if that is the cause of your dry eyes.

* Get plenty of sleep.

Related:Does your pupil size matter when you are considering Lasik eye surgery?

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  1. Thank you for sharing this post with the readers of this week's Carnival of Family Life! This week the Spring is Just Around the Corner Edition is hosted at home at Colloquium! Hope you will drop by and read some of the many other wonderful entries received this week!

    There's a lot of useful information here. I experienced extreme eye dryness following cataract surgery and finally the dr. figured out that I was allergic to the moisturing drops he had prescribed! I was miserable until he diagnosed the problem.

  2. Soumya10:29 AM

    well everytime you blink, your eye gets moisturized. Using a good brand of eye drops without preservatives also help. Stay away from extreme heat and extreme cold.

  3. Anonymous4:31 PM

    you can buy from supermarkets and chemist from Optex like an artificial tears drops that will help your own bodies production of natural tears if you are in a dry environment for long periods of time or you have had recent eye infections this may be why you feel so dry but the Optex is worth a try and it is sterile too so you are at lower risk of infection and they certainly help your eyes feel better

  4. Anonymous1:35 PM

    Try more eyedrops brand, till you find the one most suited for u. I've been wearing contacts for 5 years, my eyes got dry quickly when I used monthly contacts, but after I switched to daily, my eyes don't get dry that easily. Most importantly, I can dispose them and get new ones daily :)

    Some of my frens have tried to switch to contacts, and they have the same problem. I usually tell them, it gets some time to get accustomed to it. If your eyes can dry after a long time like 4 hours or under windy weather conditions, it's natural for them to get dry. So keep that eyedrop bottle with u at all times :]

    AND if your eyes still get dry, after applying those eyedrops, it's better not to use contacts that often or don't use them at all. You could just dispose ur current contacts and switch to glasses, then switch to new contacts the next day. It's better to safeguard your eyes.

  5. The biggest cause of dry eyes is contact lens wear! Most people that wear contacts experience dry eyes, whether they know it or not.

    You can get some really good over the counter re wetting drops...I personally like Systane and Refresh. You can't ever overuse preservative free re wetting drops, so go for it.

  6. Muskan8:57 AM

    Eat a well balanced diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables! Carrots are loaded with beta carotene which is essential for maintaining healthy eyes Get plenty of sleep (your eyes need resting too) Drink lots of water. If you smoke, STOP! Eat fish, flax seed oil or fish oil supplements - Read this Article. Get enough Vitamin E, Zinc, Antioxidants, or use Eye Vitamins. If you stare at a computer screen regularly, take breaks and remember to blink often. Go ahead take a break right now. You deserve it!

  7. Nakul3:49 PM

    Do your eyes often feel dry and itchy in an air-conditioned room? Then the low humidity of the environment may be drying out your eyes. Standby some artificial tears, also known as eye lubricants, to relieve your eye condition. Another option to consider is to use a humidifier to keep the relative humidity of your workplace or home between 30 and 50 percent. But be sure to get one with anti-fungus and anti-mold features to reduce the likelihood of mold and bacteria growth within the humidifier itself

  8. Anonymous8:49 AM

    Eat a well balanced diet. Eat lots of fruits and vegetables! Carrots are loaded with beta carotene which is essential for maintaining healthy eyes. Get plenty of sleep (your eyes need resting too). Drink lots of water. If you smoke, STOP! Eat fish, flax seed oil or fish oil supplements . Get enough Vitamin E, Zinc, Antioxidants, or use Eye Vitamins.

  9. Nirupa5:55 PM

    Alpha Linoleic acid might be worth a try....its a fatty acid that the body uses in a whole lot of ways...

  10. Dr Shivram5:46 PM

    Artificial tears should help.

  11. Druva9:21 AM

    Alpha Linoleic acid might be worth a try

  12. Raghu8:43 AM

    Get enough Vitamin E, Zinc, Antioxidants, or use Eye Vitamins. If you stare at a computer screen regularly, take breaks and remember to blink often. Go ahead take a break right now. You deserve it!

  13. Anonymous5:09 PM

    Normally, each time you blink, a thin film of tears spreads across your eyes. But some people, who suffer from the condition known as dry eyes, find that their eyes are not covered by the film of tears. Not only does this mean that these people are unable to cry, they also suffer from some kind of pain in their eyes. Since there is no protective layer across the eyes, these people find that their eyes burn. Sometimes they experience a stinging sensation in their eyes. An additional problem that may develop is blurring of the vision. In some cases people notice that their eyes are sensitive to light. Dry eyes can be caused due to a variety of reasons – from medications like decongestants to an allergic reaction to some products.

    You can use a hot compress on your eyes by dipping a soft towel in hot water and holding it to your eyes. This treatment can be carried out as often as you like during a day. You should also ensure that your surroundings are sufficiently humidified. Avoid turning up the air conditioner or the heating on too high since this affects your eyes. You can also constantly splash water on your face. Ensure that you take regular breaks from your work, especially if this involves staring at the computer screen.

  14. Gangadhar11:22 AM

    If you have tried "artificial tears", at your drugstore, and it is not working, you should see an Ophthalmologist to have your eyes checked. I had this problem and had to go the Doctor route. He placed plugs (which you cannot even feel) in the small tear drains in my eyes. After having this done several times, my problem stopped and I was just able to just use the artificial tears after that.
    Seriously, have them checked because if it gets worse, when you first awaken in the morning and blink, it can scratch the retina and that hurts like hell. Plus that eye has to be covered for about 24 hours to heal. Too many of these episodes can permanently damage your eyes.

  15. You can find all different things to help dry eyes, the most common thing people do is go to the shop to buy eye drops. Eye drops are not only for people that wear glasses or contacts lenses.
    You should go try buying some moisturising eye drops. don't buy ones that just say eye drops, brightening eye drops etc... you need one that says it WILL help moisture the eyes

  16. CHANDRIKA11:31 AM

    Your eyes doesn't secrete more tears to lubricate. Try those eye drops. It'll help moisten your eyes.

  17. Kartik11:32 AM

    I have dry eye also. & the only thing I use is systane The eye doctor told me that was the best u get over the counter. Washing ure face doesn't help dry eye it just helps them get alittle wet


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