What Is Dry Eye Disease?

Do you notice your eyes are constantly dry and itchy? Dry Eye Disease is a very common condition caused by chronic lack of moisture on the eye. It’s more common in older people, but it can affect anyone — depending on lifestyle and environment.

Causes of Dry Eye Disease

There are several reasons why you might experience dry eyes. Some factors include your eyes not producing enough tears or your tears evaporate too quickly. Believe it or not, a poor diet also can contribute to eye dryness. A few other causes include too much time reading your phone or computer screen, living/working in dry environments, prolonged contact lens wear, certain medicines, and various health conditions (hormonal changes, diabetes, arthritis, or lupus).

Effects of Dry Eye Disease

If you ignore your dry eyes, they may have trouble blocking dust and other irritants, which can lead to bacterial infections or inflammation. Although it’s uncomfortable, dry eye syndrome rarely causes permanent vision loss. Other symptoms of dry eyes include swelling, tearing, redness, light sensitivities, drying, stinging/burning, and irritation.

Dry Eye Disease Solutions

Be kind to your eyes! Get into a routine of good eye hygiene, use lubricating eye drops, and adjust your environment if your eye surface feels dry (e.g., change the direction of a blowing fan, or add a humidifier to add moisture to the air). Also, taking frequent breaks from your digital devices can help. Talk to your eye care professional if you have any concerns.

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