What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

If your tear glands do not produce enough tears to lubricate your eyes, dry eyes can occur. The condition can be medical, or caused by environmental factors, but is uncomfortable, and sometimes quite painful.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome

The term dry eye syndrome describes eyes that are affected by either poor quality tears or hindered tear production. Symptoms include

  • painful, scratching feeling in your eyes
  • redness
  • blurred vision
  • having mucus in or at the edges of your eyes
  • sensitivity to light

Cause of Dry Eye Syndrome

But what causes dry eye syndrome? There are several factors that could be to blame including

  • age
  • medications
  • wearing contact lenses
  • allergies
  • medical condition
  • environmental factors

How can you counteract dry eyes? There are some easy steps you can follow to ease the symptoms of dry eye syndrome

  1. Change your Environment – avoiding cigarette smoke, and staying inside if it is windy should help. By getting a humidifier for your home you can add moisture to the air, again easing symptoms. If you are engaging in motorbike or bicycle riding, or skiing, wear protective eyewear to protect your eyes from strong winds.
  2. Add Fatty Acids to your Diet – Fat that comes from omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation in the body. This will help relieve symptoms by reducing any inflammation in your eyes and helping to produce tears. You can take supplements, or eat more omega-3 rich foods. You can find these in ground flaxseed, palm oil, soybean oil, fatty fish, walnuts, eggs, and chia seeds.

When Should you Talk to a Doctor?

If at home remedies don’t help, you may have a more serious underlying condition. You should talk to your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • pain in your eyes
  • an injury to your eye
  • discharge from your eyes
  • no relief to dryness after a few days

Dry eye syndrome can be a very irritating condition to have. At home, remedies should usually do the trick in getting you some relief but if they don’t you may need to make an appointment with your doctor to make sure everything is in order.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos/ g_studio

Posted on April 11, 2017