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Dry eyes can occur when tears tend to evaporate too fast, or if there are also few tears produced. It is a natural symptom in people, and it can be observed on either one or both eyes. The most important aspect of dry eyes is that if the issue is left untreated, then it can favor the appearance of inflammation.

What are the main symptoms of dry eyes?

There are several symptoms associated with dry eyes, including:

  • Burning sensation
  • Itchiness
  • Heavy eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Extreme dryness feeling
  • Red eyes
  • Photophobia
  • Blurred vision

Of course, the symptoms can differ from one individual to another. Research shows that in some patients, the main sign of dry eyes can be watery eyes, which ultimately indicates the individual suffers from dry eye syndrome.

What are the leading causes of dry eyes?

1. Modifications in the Tear Composition

Tears are made of three primary layers, consisting of oil, water, and mucus. If there is any issue with one of those elements, dry eye symptoms can happen.

The most critical layer is the oil one. This is meant to protect the margins of the eyelids, the area where glands manufacture lipids, of fatty oils. This oily compound is responsible for smoothing the tear surface, and it can prevent fast evaporation. If the oil levels are imbalances, the result is rapid evaporation of tears. Also, inflammation around eyelids can lead to the blockage of those glands, which prevents oil production, and promotes the appearance of dry eyes.

The intermediary layer is essential for the correct production of water and salt. These lacrimal glands are the ones meant to remove any particles or irritants that might enter the eye. If there is an issue with these glands, the result is a film instability, meaning the oil and mucus may interact with each other, leading to dry eyes.

2. Lower Tear Production

Another cause of dry eyes might be related to a lack of tears. Eyes can become rapidly dehydrated if the proper number of tears is absent. This is a common issue for those over 40 years of age, yet it can be observed in younger patients, too. Besides, lack of tear production can be a result of several health problems, such as autoimmune disease, radiation treatment, or diabetes.

3. External Factors

Several lifestyle choices can impact the health of our eyes and lead to dry eyes. Also, environmental elements like sun, or wind, can alter the production of tears. And, of course, standing in front of a computer for too long, or driving for extended periods can diminish the blinking rate, leading to dry eyes.
A couple of treatments for health problems can lead to dry eyes, as they modify the tear production. These include diuretics, antihistamines, sleeping pills, birth control pills, or some antidepressants.

Anyhow, to deal with eye dryness, it is best to ask for advice from a medical practitioner. In this way, your optometrist will assess your condition and determine what the best approach for you is. Usually, dry eye treatment includes using natural tears or eye drops, along with adopting healthier lifestyles.

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