Here at Camden Opticians, we know that most people will experience dry eyes or dry eye syndrome at some point in their lives because there are a number of common causes for the condition. There are a wide range of things that can interfere with your tear production, as well as the quality of your tears, resulting in dry and irritated eyes.
The ageing process affects all parts of your body, including your eyes. As you get older, your ability to naturally produce tears declines – particularly in women after menopause. Ageing can also cause dry eyes because your tear ducts can become obstructed over time, and certain age-related illness can lead to dry eyes too.
Dry eyes can often occur as a side effect of taking certain medications. There’s a wide range of both prescription and over-the-counter medications that can cause you to have dry eyes because they affect your tear production. The most common over-the-counter medications that are likely to be causing your dry eyes are antihistamines, decongestants, and painkillers.
If you are currently taking any prescription medications, then one of these could be the reason why you’re experiencing dry eye syndrome. Sleeping pills, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medication, and certain blood pressure medications can all decrease tear production so make sure that you inform your optician about any medications you’re currently taking if you’re seeking treatment for dry eyes.
A number of autoimmune diseases are associated with dry eyes. Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma can all cause an imbalance in the oil, water, and mucus that makes up tears and any change in the composition of your tears can cause dry eyes. Although you may still be producing enough tears, if you don’t have the right balance of oil, water, and mucus, the quality of your tears won’t be good enough to properly lubricate your eyes.
Sjögren’s Syndrome – another autoimmune disease – affects all of the moisture-producing glands in your body so if you have the disease you will most likely suffer from a dry mouth as well as dry eyes.
Blepharitis is a common eye disorder which causes an inflammation of the eyelids. Although dry eyes can often cause blepharitis, they can just as easily be a symptom of the condition too. Because blepharitis and dry eyes often occur at the same time, ophthalmologists now believe that the two conditions are actually part of one chronic eye condition – dry eye blepharitis syndrome (DEBS).
Prolonged Computer Use
We’re all guilty of spending too much time glued to our devices but did you know that this can cause your eyes to become dry and irritated? Because prolonged computer use significantly decreases your blink rate, your eyes aren’t getting the required amount of lubrication, which is why they feel dry and irritated after a long day at the office. If your work requires you to use computers for a prolonged period of time, try taking a break every hour or so to give your eyes a rest and use lubricating eye drops.
Wearing Contact Lenses
Although contact lens technology has come a long way in recent years, wearing them is still one of the most common causes of dry eyes. Because the lenses act as a barrier, they can interfere with the layer of tears that would normally cover and protect the surface of your eyes. If you find that your contact lenses are drying out your eyes, you should speak to your optician about switching to daily lenses or a different brand of lens – you can also try wearing your contacts for shorter periods of time to elevate your dry eye symptoms.
Whether you live in a climate with low levels of humidity or simply work in an environment with air conditioning, you could be more prone to dry eyes because of the lack of moisture in the air. In the same way that your eyes feel dry and gritty on a plane, a dry environment can aggravate them too.
We know that dry eyes can be extremely uncomfortable, so we have designed our dry eye treatment to help you quickly identify the cause of the problem, as well as the most effective treatment option for you. We also offer dry eye consultations and eyelid cleaning appointments to help with blepharitis and dry eyes.
If you would like more information or would like to book an appointment to discuss your treatment options, get in touch with us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 0207 383 3838.