You might feel a sand-like grittiness in your eyes that can range from mild to severe. People describe the feeling as a lack of lubrication. That’s exactly what it is. Your body isn't making enough tears, or the chemicals in your tears are out of balance. When this happens, you have dry eye.
Dry eye is a medical diagnosis that at times is not taken seriously, says the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Optometric Association (AOA).
According to the AAO and the AOA, over 3 million women and over 1 million men suffer from dry eye syndrome. This generally increases with age. Dry eye is not just an annoyance. It can cause inflammation, blurred vision, and even blindness in extreme cases.
Risk rises with age
Changes in your immune response and falling hormone production as you age can lead to dry eye. If you have dry eye symptoms and are on medicines, talk to your healthcare provider to see if changes might help.
Dry Eye Treatment
The first line of defense against dry eye is to limit or avoid things that cause symptoms, which includes dry climates. Other factors include forced air (like from a car vent), dusty settings, smoke, and computer screens set at high brightness that force your eyes to open wider. Humidity levels of about 45% or more are best for your eyes.
Artificial tears can help. Look for over the counter products that are just like your own tears, not eye drops sold for allergies or redness. Prescription eye drops, punctal plugs, hot compresses, and other medicines and treatments can help. You can schedule an appointment with our ophthalmologist to understand your best choice for care.
Halifax Health - Ophthalmology
Halifax Health – Ophthalmology provides comprehensive treatment or surgical plans for your eye condition needs. You will have confidence that you are in the best hands during your treatment plan as our ophthalmologist, Dr. Nishita Patel, is Halifax Health’s only eye trauma surgeon at our Level II Trauma Center. This means that your eyes are in the care of a doctor who has extensive training and experience to handle not only regular eye treatments but also those emergency cases that can save someone’s eye health or vision.