When you were a teenager, the possibility of not being able to cry tears may have seemed as likely as building a bridge to Hawaii. In other words, nearly impossible. As time passes, however, having dry eyes becomes a reality for many people. Whether you suffer from occasional dry eyes or a chronic case of dry eyes, here are common causes behind the condition and also some helpful tips of what you can do at home to reduce the discomfort.
Tears do more than convey emotion; they also help to maintain vision and comfort. Comprised of water for moisture; mucus for even distribution; oils for lubrication; and antibodies to help avoid infection, tears are released from glands surrounding the eye. When an imbalance occurs, a person may face dry eyes.
Dry eye syndrome, also known as aqueous tear deficiency and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, results from a variety of causes.
Most common reasons for Dry Eye Syndrome
Side Effect from Medication
- particularly antihistamines
- nasal decongestants
- certain blood pressure medicines
- Parkinson’s medications
- birth control pills
- rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- collagen vascular diseases
A condition that involves the eyes not closing completely during sleep
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- cicatricial pemphigoid
Particularly as it relates to menopause. Women who only take estrogen supplements during menopause are 70 percent more likely to experience dry eye, whereas those taking estrogen and progesterone have a 30 percent increased risk of facing dry eye.
Unfortunately, dry eyes cannot be cured. However, there are many ways to obtain temporary relief.
How to help dry eyes
Artificial Drops and Ointments
Available over the counter, artificial drops are the most common solution for dry eyes. If contending with a chronic eye problem, drops are necessary every day, even when symptoms aren’t present.
By placing more moisture into the air, tears evaporate at a faster pace.
Hot Compresses and Massage with Baby Oil
This helps form a thicker, more steady lipid layer. Heat warms the oils in the glands, thereby improving flow. Massage assists in removing the oils from the glands.
If dry eyes result from reading or watching TV, allow yourself time to close your eyes every 10 minutes or so. This helps restore moisture and gain comfort.
Close Fitting Glasses
Wearing wrap-around shades or those with side shields can help slow tear evaporation.
If you suffer from frequent dry eyes, speak with an eye doctor. It’s important to know the cause and possibly undergo a more permanent solution.