DRY EYE: Everything you need to know and more!
Our eyes are full of tears. They provide moisture and lubrication to help you see and maintain comfort. Our tears are a mix of water (for moisture), oils (for Lubrication) and mucus (for evenly spreading). Our Antibodies keep infection at bay. Dry eye can often mean our tear system is out of whack in some way. Moisture is lost and this leads to inflammation and can damage the eyes surface.
So, what are the main causes of Dry Eye?
It’s those pesky screens again and our ever-increasing digital lifestyle. We use multiple screens around 8 to 10 hours a day. Did you know that when we stare at our devices, we blink up to 80% less?! This of course, causes our eyes to dehydrate (our natural tears evaporate) and our eyes become tired and inflamed. Ouch! Our Blue Light Defence Lenses can also help protect your vision from the unnatural glare of screens but that’s another story.
Are there certain environments that can trigger Dry Eye?
Absolutely. The different seasons and what they bring can trigger Dry Eye, for example winter means central heating and summer brings on the air conditioning. Both cause the air to dry out and our tears to evaporate. Cold temperatures outdoors and dry outdoor air all cause the eye to dehydrate.
Can wearing contact lenses cause Dry Eye?
Contact lens wear induces some level of dry eye. We need to keep our eyes hydrated to ensure contact lenses comfortability throughout the day. And again, cold temperatures, dry outdoor air and dry indoor heat all cause the eye to dehydrate.
Any other factors that we should be aware of?
As we know, ageing brings a whole host of new challenges, one of them being that we make fewer tears as we get older, which invariably means Dry Eye. Also there are certain medical conditions and medicine side effects that can also contribute.
So, what does Dry Eye feel like?
Get ready to suddenly want to blink lots! Gritty feeling, itchy, tired, stinging, burning, blurry vision, redness, a sensation of having something in your eye, difficulty wearing contact lenses, difficulty with night-time driving, watery eyes, sensitivity to light or water. And to add to that, symptoms tend to worsen throughout the day. Doesn’t sound like a whole lotta fun eh?
Tell me about Dry Eye Drops. And how do I know which ones to use?
There are hundreds of drops to choose from, so making that decision can be rather confusing. One thing to make sure of, avoid using drops that include preservatives. Use a mild drop for Dry Eye that is caused by a lifestyle or environmental setting to keep eyes hydrated. However, if you have been diagnosed with a more serious case of Dry Eye, then it’s recommended that you use a severe Dry Eye drops because the fluid is much thicker and will retain in the eye longer, working its magic and offering a longer-term relief.
Is there a cure?
The bad news is that Dry Eye will always have to be managed. But don’t despair, there’s good news too! The symptoms are easily kept at bay with the right eye drops, lid wipes and even eye masks for your particular level. Once you are diagnosed with Dry Eye, it’s very important to keep up with the simple self-management routine at home, even when your eyes feel better.
Tell me more about how the seasons dehydrate my eyes
Spring – Dry Eye spikes during the spring when pollen counts rise. The allergens creep into our tear film and can block our oil glands. As a result, the eye doesn’t have enough oil for happy tears and causes dryness and inflammation.
Summer – Heat and humidity can zap moisture from your eyes and add air conditioning into the mix and poor eyes have a battle ground to deal with. Outdoor activities such as gardening can also aggravate allergies.
Autumn – Cold, dry air can cause moisture to dry up in your eyes. Also, airborne allergens such as mould spores can cause dry, irritated eyes. Air conditioning and central heating can cause our tears to evaporate.
Winter – Cold air and gusty winds can cause our eyes to lose moisture and dry out. Also, the need for turning central heating on dehydrates our eyes.
So there you have it. And lucky for you, we happen to stock some of the best Dry Eye products in the business, especially developed by industry market-leaders, The Body Doctor and VIZhyal. Prices start from £7.99.