Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome
Updated: Apr 11
Dry Eye Syndrome is one of the most common reasons people visit the eye doctor. According to allaboutvision.com, 48 percent of Americans over the age of 18 experience symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome on a regular basis.
So, what exactly is Dry Eye Syndrome? In order to stay healthy and comfortable, your eyes need a consistent layer of tears on the surface of the eye. Tears bathe the surface and keep it moist while washing away dust and debris. Normal tear films consist of three important parts, a lipid (oily) component, an aqueous (watery) component, and a mucin (mucus-like) component. Each component of the tear film is crucial for tear production and overall eye health. A problem with any of these sources results in tear instability and dry eyes.
There are various factors that can increase your risk of developing Dry Eye Syndrome, some of the most common causes include the following:
Computer usage: People tend to blink less while using a computer or a smartphone. This leads to tearing evaporation and puts users at an increased risk of dry eye symptoms.
Contact lenses: Dry eye discomfort is a common complaint from contact lens wearers. This often results in people discontinuing contact lens wear.
Age: Although it can occur at any age, Dry Eye Syndrome is statistically more common after the age of 50.
Environment: Climate, air heating and cooling systems, and windy conditions can all increase Dry Eye Syndrome symptoms.
Flying: As if the jet lag wasn’t enough, airplane cabins have extremely dry air leading to dry eye problems, especially for frequent fliers.
Smoking: Smoking is linked to a variety of serious eye issues including Dry Eye Syndrome, Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, and Uveitis.
Treatment and Prevention
A simple eye exam can tell you if you have Chronic Dry Eye Syndrome. Symptoms can vary from person to person, so it’s important to visit your eye doctor for a professional diagnosis. Once diagnosed there are effective treatment options including the use of artificial tears and behavioral modifications such as taking breaks during computer usage. In more extreme cases your eye doctor might prescribe an eye medication or suggest an in-office procedure.
Call Baldwin Eye Care, LLC to schedule an appointment with your eye care professional. It’s important to seek a professional diagnosis to determine the correct cause of your symptoms.