Are your eyes itchy, burning and watery? Are you finding it difficult to put your contact lenses on? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you may be suffering from dry eyes, a common eye condition. This condition develops when your eyes are unable to produce enough tears for adequate lubrication. Though dry eyes are very common, if left untreated for long it can lead to various complications. To help you avoid serious eye complications, over here we discuss when can dry eyes be harmful:
- Eye infections: Without adequate lubrication, your eyes are at an increased risk of eye infection. Untreated dry eyes can cause the inflammation of the conjunctiva. This can lead to a kind of conjunctivitis, which is different from bacterial conjunctivitis.
- Difficulty in wearing contact lenses: For contact lenses to feel comfortable, your eyes need to be lubricated adequately. In the absence of enough tear production, contact lenses can become dry. This can lead to eye irritation, burning sensation and redness. This can make wearing and removing contact lenses difficult.
- Damage to the surface of the eyes: When left untreated for too long, dry eyes can lead to eye inflammation, corneal abrasion and corneal ulcers. If the cornea is affected, you may experience sudden pain, blurry vision, tearing and sensitivity to light. To prevent any damage to the cornea, you must seek treatment for dry eyes.
- Decreased quality of life: Depending on the severity of dry eye, you may have difficulty in carrying out daily activities such as reading and driving. In severe cases, it may be even difficult to open your eyes. You may also squint when exposed to glares of the sun or bright light.
Causes of dry eyes:
- Ageing: Though anyone can have dry eyes, it is quite common among the elderly as tear production declines with age. Older adults who suffer from medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, vitamin A deficiency and allergic eye disease experience decreased tear production.
- Hormonal changes: Hormones can play a significant role in dry eyes. Some women develop dry eye symptoms when they experience hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause.
- Medications: Certain medications can reduce tear production, contributing to chronic dry eye. If you take medication and experience dryness in the eyes, talk to your doctor. Ask about an alternative medication or a lower dose to help reduce your dry eye.
- Computer use: Spending too much time in front of a computer screen can lead to eyestrain. Staring at a computer without blinking often can also affect your tear production and lead to dry eyes.
Treatment for dry eyes
As dry eyes can have a number of causes, there are different treatment options available. Artificial tears, prescription steroids and punctal plugs are some of the options. Consult some of the best eye specialists in Kolkata who can help you choose the right course of treatment. Though dry eyes are a common problem, it can lead to severe complications if left untreated.