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What causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

Why do your eyes feel gritty?

The eye is a marvel of nature. It not only enables us to see, it feeds the brain with millions of pieces of information that affect our decision making, our emotions and our actions.
 On the outside our eyes are robust, protecting the delicate inner light sensitive  mechanisms and capable of repairing itself from minor surface damage. The eye is covered by a liquid film - the tear layer. Tears have several important functions;

  • To lubricate the eye

  • To keep the eye clean and free from dust

  • To help stabilise vision protect the eye from infection

So when our eyes become dry and feel painful or uncomfortable its not something you can or should avoid.
Some symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome are:

  • Eyes feel tired, irritated and dry

  • Blurred vision

  • Foreign body sensation

  • Burning sensation

  • Watery eyes - this may seem strange for a person suffering with dry eyes.

There are several possible causes -Dry environments, air conditioning, Some long term illnesses, Side effects of medications, Preservatives, antihistamines, Hormonal changes and Age, the risk of dry eye syndrome increases significantly over 65

In short, Dry Eye Syndrome can have huge impact of your quality of life, affecting your comfort, daily activities like driving and reading.

The chronic condition can in most cases be managed and certain life style changes can also help.

  • Avoid long periods in front of a TV screen or computer.

  • Blink more! the blinking action can help lubricate the eye more frequently reducing surface dehydration.

  • Reduce the brightness on monitors

  • Wear specialised eyewear or sunglasses on a windy day.

  • Cleaning your eyelids daily

  • Ensure contact lenses are well lubricated

  • Include more Omega 3 in your diet.

  • Avoid smoky polluted environment

There are a range of treatments, lubricants, applications and devices which can help manage and alleviate symptoms,  however each individual is different so having a care program tailored to your particular situation is the best way to address the condition.

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