Dry eye syndrome is a condition that causes the protective tear film that covers your cornea to dry out. Many people have it, but unfortunately, they don’t know what causes it or recognize its symptoms. As a result, they risk aggravating their conditions.
Dry eye syndrome could result from various reasons that disrupt the production of a healthy tear film. Each tear should have three layers: fatty oils, an aqueous liquid, and mucus. It takes the production of the three layers to keep the surface of your eye adequately lubricated, moist, and clear. Disrupting the perfect balance of the three layers results in dry eyes. This causes increased tear evaporation, decreased production of tears, or both.
Increased Evaporation of Tears
Sometimes, a condition may cause the meibomian glands located at the edge of the eyelids to get clogged. When this happens, the tears produced have little or no oil coating to cover your cornea surface and preserve the moisture. For this reason, the aqueous fluid produced dries fast, leaving mucus in and at the edges of your eye. Your body reacts to counter the eye dryness by producing more tears continually, which is why the eyes get watery. But, even then, the aqueous fluid is not enough to keep your cornea moist, and you are continuously irritated.
Conditions that commonly cause increased tear evaporation are:
Dysfunction of the meibomian glands
Less blinking when you’re intently focusing on something or due to Parkinson’s disease
Vitamin A deficiency
The preservatives present in topical eye drops
Being in an environment with dry air, smoke, or wind
Decreased tear production
Your eyes may also dry up when your body fails to produce enough of the aqueous fluid. This condition may be caused by the following:
Advancing in age
Some medications like antidepressants, antihistamines, hormone replacement therapy, and the medicines prescribed for Parkinson’s disease, high blood pressure, birth control, and acne
Medical conditions like allergic eye disease, vitamin A deficiency, lupus, allergic eye disease, sarcoidosis, thyroid disorders, and Sjogren’s syndrome
You may also have decreased tear production from wearing contact lenses, laser eye surgery, or nerve damage
Looking at the causes of dry eye syndrome, nearly every person is predisposed and can check a box or two. As such, it’s essential to take note of the signs and symptoms of dry eye so that you can take action and have the condition resolved early before it progresses into something more serious.
The symptoms of dry eye syndrome, which typically affect both eyes, are:
Eye redness and soreness
Blurred vision, especially when you read
Watery eyes with tears falling occasionally
Stringy mucus forms inside and around the eyes
A burning or stinging sensation
A gritty or scratchy feeling as though there’s something in the eye
Difficulty driving at night
Difficulty keeping your eyes open
Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
Eyelids are stuck together when you wake up
To some people, dry eyes feel painful and could cause them to be anxious and make it difficult for them to carry on their daily activities
For more on the causes and the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, visit West Texas Eyecare at our Fort Stockton and Pecos offices in Texas. Call (432) 336-3662 or (432) 445-3662 to schedule an appointment today.