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- What Are Dry Eyes?
- Diagnosing Dry Eyes
- What Causes Dry Eyes?
- Help for Dry Eyes
- More Information about Dry Eyes
What Are Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes are uncomfortable eyes. They are often red and feel tired. Dry eyes are sensitive to light and may feel gritty and burn. The dryness may be due to reduced production of tears and other internal and external factors.
Dry eyes are more common as people age. They occur when reading, working on computers and when doing other detailed work, and are usually made worse when weather is dry and windy. Excessive heat and cold also contributes to dry eyes.
How Are Dry Eyes Diagnosed?
The diagnosis of dry eyes is made by taking a history of symptoms in combination with an examination of the eyes.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
There are several causes of dry eyes. Eyes may be dry due to allergies or exposure to irritants such smoke, dust, wind or extreme temperatures. Overwork, eyestrain and fatigue are also common causes. Many medications cause dryness of the eyes as well. As we age, we are more likely to experience dry eyes as tear production lessens.
If dryness is recurrent or severe, a health care professional should be consulted to make an accurate diagnosis.
Help for Dry Eyes
Treatment of eye dryness depends upon its causes and accompanying symptoms.
Conventional practitioners often prescribe eye drops. Eye drops reduce dryness but do not treat the underlying cause of the dryness and accompanying symptoms. Sometimes ointments are prescribed for application into the eyes.
Conventional and natural health care experts frequently recommend the use of vitamins and supplements which improve the health of the eyes.
An important difference between conventional and natural health practitioners is that natural health experts do not treat just the symptoms but include remedies that restore eye health and eliminate the cause of dry eyes.
Additional Information about Dry Eyes
- Wash your hands before applying eye drops.
- Follow instructions carefully when using eye drops and washes. Do not touch the dropper tip with your hands or touch the eyes.
- Replace eye drops regularly to prevent infection.
- Get regular eye exams.
- Take an herbal supplement to enhance eye health.
- Use homeopathic eye remedies consistently, not just when symptoms of dryness are present.
- Ask your health care provider if you are taking medications that cause eye dryness. If you are, enquire if alternatives are available.
- Drink plenty of fluids regularly.
- Protect your eyes with sunglasses when outside.
- If your home is dry, purchase a humidifier or boil a pot of water on the stove to add moisture to the air.
- Cool, wet washcloths placed over the eyes may provide temporary relief of eye discomfort.
- Dry eyes and irritated eyes are a symptom of an imbalance within the body. Systemic remedies are needed to help restore health.