According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly 5 million Americans aged 50 and older suffer from significant dry eye symptoms. Research also shows that women are more likely to suffer from this condition, with up to 3.2 million women aged 50 and older affected.
Chronic dry eye is a condition affecting the front surface of your eyes, often making them feel dry, itchy, or irritated. This issue arises due to either inadequate tear production or problems with the tear film that coats your eyes, making your tears evaporate more quickly than they should.
It’s essential to know that this condition affects people differently. However, women are generally more susceptible, particularly as they age. One reason is that menopause alters hormonal balance, impacting tear production and stability. Additionally, as we age, natural tear production declines, making dry eyes a more common issue among older adults.
If you've been experiencing symptoms like a stinging or burning sensation in your eyes, fluctuations in your vision, or even just a gritty feeling, you might be dealing with chronic dry eye. Sometimes, one eye may be more affected than the other, but typically, both eyes experience symptoms. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to more severe discomfort and even pain.
Treatment for chronic dry eye is personalized to your needs, so it’s crucial to get a proper evaluation. Here are some common treatment approaches:
Over-the-counter artificial tears provide temporary relief by supplementing your natural tear film. They come in various formulations, so you might need to try a few to find the one that's right for you.
For more chronic or severe cases, anti-inflammatory medication like corticosteroid eye drops may be prescribed. These can help reduce inflammation on the surface of your eye, restoring tear film balance.
These are small, biocompatible devices inserted into your tear ducts to slow down the drainage of tears, thus keeping your eyes moist. This is often a longer-term solution for those with moderate to severe dry eyes.
Factors like screen time, humidity levels, and even your diet can impact dry eyes. Consider using a humidifier, taking breaks from screens, and incorporating Omega-3 fatty acids into your diet as ways to manage symptoms.
If you're experiencing symptoms related to chronic dry eye, don't wait. Schedule an appointment with us today for a thorough dry eye evaluation. Understanding the severity and underlying causes can guide us toward the most effective treatment for you.
Don't let chronic dry eye affect your quality of life. We're here to help you see better and feel better.