Chronic Dry Eye is a common eye condition that many people suffer from, and though it doesn't seem like a huge problem, left to itself it can become one.
Dry eye can be caused by many different conditions. Probably the most common cause is arthritis. Arthritis, an auto-immune condition such as lupus will tend to damage the small glands, the meibomian glands that secrete the very critical oil layer on the surface of the eye. Other conditions that can cause dry eye are diabetes, post-op LASIK patients can also experience dry eye symptoms. A lot of different medications can cause dry eye, so you should consult with your physician as to which medication you might be taking that could cause dry eye. And, as well as dry environments that might have a lot of dust, dander, pollinating plants, etc.
Why Das Dry Eye Disease Become So Common?
Think of three main factors:
- Post op Lasik
- Wearing contact lenses
- Use of CPAP
- Dramatic increase in use of electronics
- Dry climates
- Increased air pollution
- Office buildings, airplanes and car travel with recirculated dry air
- Diabetes, Rheumatoid arthritis, Sjorgens syndrome, Lupus, Acne rosacea and Menopause
- Normal aging (we produce 60% less oil at age 65 than we do at 18)
- Medications for conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, depression, birth control pills, Parkinson's, chemotherapy, allergies and hormone replacement
Ocular surface disease (OSD) can start at age 10 and is found in 30% of people over the age of 50 and up to 75% of people over 65 will experience significant OSD. The symptoms can range from very mild to moderate to extreme discomfort. These symptoms include:
- Eye irritation - burning, dryness, foreign body sensation, grittiness, itchiness, stinging
- Blurry or fluctuation of vision
- Loss of vision
- Chronic pain
- Sensitivity to light
- Excessive tearing
The dramatic increase in the use of computers, cell phones and electronics in the last 10 years has been responsible for many more new cases of OSD. Research has shown that we only blink an average of 7 blinks per minute on a computer compared with 22 blinks normally. The muscles of the eyelids are like other muscles of the body in that they will learn this behavior, and now our blinking is reduced even when we are away from computer screens. The electronic age has created a new group of people developing OSD, our youth.
The best way to address these problems is to be proactive and develop a daily routine that will help prevent progression and development of OSD. Three important steps in maintaining eye health and vision is start a daily routine of:
1. Moist heat compresses: 10 minutes of moist heat with the Tranquileyes XL will help preserve and improve the quality of oily tears