Dry eye affects millions of Americans. It’s a common eye condition that’s defined by a lack of basal tears. The job of basal tears are made up of water, fatty oils, and mucus—it’s their job to lubricate the eye. When we don’t naturally produce enough basal tears or if the composition of these tears change, the result can be Dry Eye Syndrome.
Common symptoms of dry eye include:
- Blurry vision
- Alternating periods of excessive dryness and excessive tearing
- Sensation of something “stuck” in the eye
- The feeling of “heavy” eyelids
Because dry eye is caused by changes in the body’s ability to produce effective basal tears, it is frequently seen in individuals with certain risk factors, such as:
- Hormonal fluctuations (like during pregnancy or menopause)
- Autoimmune disorders
- Inflammatory diseases
- Taking certain medications
These risk factors are more prevalent in women. Therefore, women are at higher risk for developing dry eye.
Diagnosis & Treatment
While there are a variety of ways to cope with dry eye and its symptoms at home, the most important thing you can do is to call your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. Your eye health partner will be able to diagnose the condition, identify your personal triggers for symptoms, and recommend the best treatment for your unique case. Treatment options for dry eye may include: dietary changes, vitamins, or medicated eye drops.