Whether you realize it or not, dry eye is all around us. The woman in your office rubbing her eyes because they feel gritty, a guy at the gym whose eyes won’t stop tearing up uncontrollably, or maybe it’s you wondering why your eyes feel so dry. Did you know that if you’re a woman, you’re already at a higher risk for chronic dry eye syndrome? Not to mention, if you work in an office setting in front of computers, you’re greatly increasing your risk.
What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a condition that millions of Americans suffer from each year. Dry eye occurs when eyes cannot produce enough of their own tears, or the tears that are being produced evaporate too quickly. Many people don’t take dry eye seriously and don’t receive treatment for their symptoms, leading them to continue suffering from the condition. Eyelove is aiming to change that. Eyelove is a campaign by Shire, with Jennifer Aniston as its celebrity spokeswoman. The goal: to get women to their eye doctor to talk about dry eye. The more people talk about it, the more people will feel comfortable going to their eye doctor and finding out if they are suffering from dry eye.
How Can I Treat It?
Dry eye can be treated with over the counter eye drops and ointments, as well as artificial tears. If these don’t alleviate your symptoms, the next step is to go see your eye doctor. They may recommend changing certain prescription medications, such as birth control pills or allergy medications, which can cause dry eye. If you wear contacts, they could recommend you reduce the amount of time that you wear them, or stop completely depending on how severe your dry eye is. Dry eye syndrome can be treated by your doctor in a number of ways. The first is with punctal plugs, which can be permanent or temporary. Your doctor will use tiny plugs to stop tears from draining through your tear ducts too quickly. Another way is by supplementing your diet with omega 3-fatty acids, like fish oil pills, or by using prescription steroid eye drops. It may take some time to find a treatment option that works best for you.
How Can I Keep My Dry Eye In Check?
Although dry eye syndrome can be a chronic condition, with the right treatment, it can be managed. If your eyes are feeling extremely dry, an air humidifier is a good way to bring more moisture into any room that you may be in. If you work on a computer for more than a few hours each day, remember to give your eyes plenty of breaks. If you find yourself using eye drops more than 4 times per day, it is time to see your eye doctor. Want to learn more? Check out the Eyelove campaign for yourself!