Welcome to the second half of the year. In the month of July, we will focus on dry eyes and its effect on daily living. Studies show that the overall estimated prevalence of dry eye in Africa is about 42%.Â
The eyes produce tears which help to lubricate the cornea, provide nutrients and oxygen to the eyes, and remove dust particles. When the cornea is not well lubricated due to inadequate production or poor quality of tear components, it could lead to dry eyes. Dry eye is one of the common problems affecting the populace.
Some of the symptoms associated with dry eyes include:
2. Burning or stinging sensation
4. Foreign body or sandy sensation
5. Increased sensitivity to light
6. Transient blurry vision
7. Eye pain
8. Tired or fatigued eyes
Ironically, tearing or watering eyes is one of the symptoms of dry eyes. This happens because when the eyes are not adequately lubricated, the brain is stimulated to produce reflex tears which make our eyes water.
Dry eyes could be caused by:
i. Age (tear production reduces as we age)
iii. Prolonged use of the computer system
iv. Hormonal changes in pregnancy, menopause
v. Certain medications such as birth control pills, anti-depressants
vi. Contact lens use
vii. Some medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disease
viii. Chemical injuries to the eye
ix. Inability to close eyes completely (lagophthalmos)
x. Environmental factors
Women are more susceptible to dry eyes than men due to hormonal changes during menopause, pregnancy or use of birth control pills.Â One may have more than one cause contributing to the symptoms he or she experiences.
It is important that one undergoes proper evaluation by an eye care professional so that adequate treatment is given to help relieve symptoms and give comfort to the eyes.
Some of the ways dry eye can be treated include:
1. Use of ocular lubricants or artificial tears (eye drops or ointments)
2. Using eye supplements
3. Using punctal plugs
4. Lifestyle changes such as drinking lots of water, taking sufficient breaks while working on the computer (20-20-20 rule), avoiding make up products with harmful ingredients, conscious blinking while on the computer screen, using the right cleanser for eyelids and lashes, avoiding areas with smoke and dust.
We will love to help you find relief from dry eyes.Â Schedule an appointment with us today.Â Book Now
Letâ€™s spread the word about dry eyes this month. Connect with us on social media for more information on dry eyes and other eye health related issues.Â
Have a blessed month.