What is Dry Eye?
If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, you’re not alone. Dry eye is a significant global problem affecting more than 344 million people worldwide, and more than 30 million people in the US alone.
Dry eye occurs when you don’t have enough tears to keep the eyes properly lubricated and nourished. You may experience symptoms of dry eye in one eye, or in both eyes. It can happen when:
- Your eyes simply aren’t making enough tears
- Your eyes are making poor quality tears, and they’re evaporating too quickly
Over time, if left untreated, dry eye symptoms can impact your eye health and your vision. And, though dry eye is more common as you age, it can affect anyone depending on biology, physiology, environment, and lifestyle.
How Do You Know If You Have Dry Eyes?
While dry eye is uncomfortable and can feel different to different people, some common symptoms may include:
- Foreign body feeling
- Excessive blinking
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
DID YOU KNOW
More screen time can mean less blinking, in some cases 65% less than the average number of blinks, contributing to dry eye symptoms.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Other common factors that contribute to dry eye symptoms include:
- Biology & Physiology — Tear production normally decreases as we age. Although dry eye can occur in both men and women at any age, women are more often affected due to hormonal changes. You also may experience dry eye symptoms after LASIK or other eye surgery.
- Environment — Whether you’re inside or outdoors, your environment can make a difference. Dry eye symptoms can worsen in particularly dry climates, or they can be impacted by indoor heating or air conditioning, for example.
- Lifestyle — If you travel to different environments a lot, stay in dry, air-conditioned buildings, or look at computer or phone screens for long durations, you might be more prone to dry eye symptoms.
- Medication — Prescription drugs, especially antihistamines, diuretics and anti-anxiety pills, can contribute to dry eye symptoms.
- Contact lens wear and care habits — Wearing contacts for longer than recommended can contribute to dry eye symptoms. So can changing your solution or care routine.
Johnson & Johnson Vision offers an array of dry eye, contact lens, and eyelid care products. Use our product selector to find the best fit for your needs.
If your eyes feel uncomfortable, or you have trouble seeing and the tips above haven’t helped, make an appointment with your eye doctor. No issue is too small to discuss, especially since your eyes are what connect you to the world.