Tears keep our eyes moist and healthy. Therefore, for optimal health of our eyes, the eyes need to produce enough tears to keep themselves lubricated. This way, our vision and comfort are maintained. Our tears are a mixture of water, oil and mucus, as well as antibodies and special proteins. These components keep the eyes moist, lubricated and resistant to infections. Special glands make sure that these substances are produced and applied onto the surface of the eye. But, when tears are not produced, dry eyes may strike a person.
Signs of Dry Eyes
When a person suffers from dry eyes, he/she may experience pain in the area, along with sensitivity to light, a gritty sensation and a feeling that some kind of a foreign object is located inside the eye. Additionally, itching, redness and blurred vision are common symptoms of dry eyes.
However, dry eyes may also manifest through excessive amount of tears running down an individual's face and cheeks. This phenomenon strikes once a person's eyes are not lubricated enough and the brain sends signals for excessive lubrication as a response, trying to make up for the loss. Unfortunately, these tears are mostly made of water and cannot do enough to prevent the dryness, solely washing the dirt away, leaving the eyes dry nevertheless.
Reasons behind Dry Eyes
Usually, dryness of the eyes may be triggered by air conditioning exposure, excessive heat exposure or other environmental factors. Moreover, menopause or aging may result in dry eyes. Also, certain medications may provoke this phenomenon. Finally, some underlying health conditions such as Sjogren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, collagen vascular diseases and inability of closing the eyes due to an eyelid dysfunction, all can lead to dry eyes as well.
Treatment for Dry Eyes
Even though dry eyes are not a curable condition, there are certain steps you can take in order to reduce the symptoms. Yet, make sure you have consulted your doctor before you try any of the following.
You may use artificial tear drops and ointments, purchasing them over-the-counter, applying them even when your eyes are not irritated, keeping them adequately lubricated. Also, Restasis is a type of tear drops which are known to increase the eyes' natural capacity for producing tears. Numerous other medications of this type are available for such purpose too.
Finally, if all else fails, you may need to undergo surgery where the ducts which lead tears into the nose are closed, allowing more tears to stay in the eye.