According to the Association of Optometrists, dry eye syndrome affects one in four people in the UK. Dry eye occurs when the eyes don’t produce enough tears or when the tears dry up too quickly. While this condition commonly only causes irritation and discomfort to the eyes, it also has the possibility to develop into a severe ailment that can lead to long-term damage. To help avoid such dire circumstances, it’s best to be aware of certain factors that may increase your risks for developing the malady.
As you get older, your body will not be as efficient at producing enough tears. The glands responsible for making normal tears and the essential oily layer on the eye tend to become less effective. Your eyelids may also become less capable of properly spreading the tears over the surface of the eyes. If you are aged 50 and above, it is good practice to routinely visit an eye doctor in London. Aside from prescribing you with drops and gels, they can also inspect your eyes more closely for any underlying issues that could be causing the problem.
Women go through certain hormonal changes at different points in their lives. For instance, they can experience imbalances during pregnancy and menopause or when taking contraceptive pills. These hormonal shifts may halt tear production, thereby increasing women’s risk of dry eye syndrome. In fact, a study published by the British Medical Journal has found that 1 in 10 UK women has dry eye disease and in need of artificial tear for proper lubrication. To prevent significant damage, women are advised to seek medical attention if they notice symptoms such as pain, itching, short-term blurred vision, sandy or gritty sensation or sore eyes.
Certain environmental factors can also increase the probability of getting dry eye. If you live in an area with a dry climate or high altitude, for example, your tears might evaporate too quickly. The same is true if you are often exposed to sun and wind outdoors, or hot blowing air at your workplace. Look into wearing protective eyewear if you can’t avoid going out under such conditions. Your doctor may also give you drops to help reduce the irritation.
You might also be more at risk if you read, write or work on a computer everyday. Basically, anything that requires intense visual focus and blinking less frequently can aggravate any discomfort you’re feeling in your eyes. This unhealthy behaviour causes the tear film to evaporate faster than it is replenished. Going on breaks every few hours might just save you some grief.
Taking certain medications, wearing contact lenses, and some medical conditions could also put you more at risk. The best way to avoid a serious problem in the future is to visit a reputable eye centre such as Eye Clinic London.