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Your eyes need tears to stay healthy. Tears wash out any small particles caught in the eye and maintain moisture. They also contain enzymes that eliminate microorganisms that can be present in the eye.
In instances where the eyes do not produce enough tears, the results are often discomfort such as constant dryness, burning, scratchiness or the feeling of something in your eye. To the surprise of many, dry eyes occasionally cause eyes to water excessively in an attempt to combat dryness.
Dry eyes are caused by a several factors. Dry eyes are often age related since it is usually adults that complain of dry eye syndrome, especially women during menopause. Dry eye syndrome can also result from certain medications. Climate that is especially windy, or indoor dry heating or air conditioning are also known to be factors. In addition, some diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or others, continual sitting in front of a computer screen which can reduce blinking, or contact lens usage can add to the chances of dry eyes.
The symptoms associated with dry eyes may be improved by using artificial tears to reduce dryness. It’s a good idea to consult with your eye doctor to know which drops to purchase and how to use them. If non-prescription options aren’t helpful your doctor might prescribe prescription drops that actually stimulate tear production.
When lubricating drops aren’t enough, your eye doctor might opt for Lacrisert, an insert placed inside the eyelid that periodically lets out lubricating ingredients at various intervals. You might also want to try lacrimal plugs which help keep the eye moist by inhibiting tear flow. Some eye doctors might suggest you try dietary or environmental adjustments to alleviate the symptoms as well.
For the majority of individuals, dry eyes do not damage your eyes permanently but can be an annoyance. Nevertheless, severe dry eyes could make you more at risk of infection so it is a good idea to consult with your eye doctor.
You don’t have to suffer from dry, itchy, burning eyes - contact your eye doctor today!