Talk to any eye doctor, and they will tell you that dry eyes are the most frequent complaint that they hear from their patients. The National Eye Institute state that this painful condition mostly occurs because your tears are not of the correct consistency and evaporate too quickly (1).
In most cases, dry eye syndrome can be managed and terminated successfully. However, depending on the cause and severity, it may not be entirely curable.
Signs and symptoms of dry eyes include:
- Stinging or burning of the eye
- A gritty feeling in the eye
- Heavy eyelids
- Eye fatigue
- Pain and redness of the eye
- Episodes of blurred vision
- Pain when wearing contact lenses
While dry eyes can be a distressing experience, there are plenty of natural remedies which can help alleviate your symptoms.
Common Causes Of Dry Eyes
There’s not a single cause as for why dry eyes happen, but one of the most common reasons includes an imbalance in the tear-flow system. According to Mayo Clinic, tear flow can be effected by the wind, smoke, and dry air (2).
Although dry eyes can affect anyone of any age, it is more common in women than in men.
The chances of developing dry eye syndrome increases as you age, with NHS UK estimating that one in every three people over the age of 65 will experience problems with dry eyes (3).
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Some other common dry eye causes include:
- Wearing contact lenses
- Hormonal changes in women including the menopause or pregnancy
- Medical conditions including diabetes, thyroid disorders and vitamin A deficiency
- Certain drugs such as antihistamine, birth control pills, and anti-depressants
- Infrequent blinking as a result of staring at screens for too long
- Laser eye surgery
If left untreated, dry itchy eyes can lead to ulcers, an increased risk of serious infections, and, in extremely severe cases, permanent loss of vision. While the loss of vision due to dryness is uncommon, it’s just not worth taking any chances.
Having dry eyes can make performing certain tasks such as using a computer, driving or reading for an extended period of time a difficult, painful and generally miserable experience.