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:
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.
While dry eye is uncomfortable and can feel different to different people, some common symptoms may include:
More screen time can mean less blinking, in some cases 65% less than the average number of blinks, contributing to dry eye symptoms.
There are certain conditions that often contribute to dry eye:
Meibomian Gland Disorder (MGD)
One of the leading causes of dry eye, MGD is when some or all of the glands that help provide the natural oils in the outer layer of your tear film are clogged. When this happens, your tears evaporate more quickly than they should.
Salt in tears is normal. But when tears evaporate too quickly too much salt is left behind in the eye. This is called hyperosmolarity and can result in dry, irritated-feeling eyes.
Other common factors that contribute to dry eye symptoms include:
If you can relate to any of the symptoms above, you may suffer from dry eye. Luckily, it’s something that’s often easily addressed. Try these quick tips and home remedies for dry eyes, and see if you notice a difference:
Have questions about addressing dry eye? Talk to your eye care professional for recommendations personal to you and your symptoms.
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.View Discussion Guide