Dry Eye Relief
What Is Dry Eye?
Healthy tear production is an essential component of vision wellness. When new tears are not adequately formed, dry eye occurs. This condition, which affects more than 7 million adults in the United States age 40 or older, involves irritated eyes that lack ideal hydration. Eye dryness tends to become more common in seniors, especially women. In fact, women appear to be almost twice as likely to contend with the issue: 3.2 million women over age 50 have dry eye syndrome, as opposed to 1.68 million men.
Insufficient nutrients and moisture in the eye's tear film are notably linked to dry eye syndrome, also called chronic dry eye. Oil, water and mucus make up this film, and if the stability of any of these layers is not maintained, eye dryness may set in. Due to its direct contact with the air, the external oil layer, which provides both protection and moisture retention, is particularly vulnerable to drying.
Dry Eye and Quality of Life
Dehydrated eyes affect most people on occasion, but persistent symptoms can mean a more substantial problem that can impede everyday living and may result in a diagnosis of dry eye syndrome. Issues related to the chronic condition include red bloodshot eyes, which affects a person's appearance and often accompanies watery, blurred vision that impairs overall eyesight and gives the impression of emotional distress.
The irritated and burning sensations typical of dry eye also cause considerable discomfort and make focusing difficult, both visually and mentally. These symptoms, either on their own or combined, can significantly hinder quality of life, complicating even the most fundamental tasks, such as reading and driving.
What Contributes to Chronic Dry Eye?
One major factor underlying recurring dry eye is general body dehydration. Approximately three-quarters of the entire United States regularly falls short of adequate water intake, and studies have connected insufficient whole-body hydration with eye dryness. Blinking is another basic component of supporting moist eyes. Those who don't blink enough, especially avid computer users and gamers, tend to experience dry eye, since each blink helps to disperse a thin amount of tears over the eye's surface.
Specific environmental conditions can promote eye dryness, particularly outdoor factors such as hot, arid climates and associated elements like glaring sun and heavy winds. Inadequate indoor moisture from fans or heating systems can also negatively affect vision. Inflammatory responses from various allergies and irritants may also trigger dry eye symptoms. Medications that address these issues, including antihistamines, may further dehydrate the eyes.
Hormonal shifts due to thyroid problems may also hinder comfortable vision, while biological changes from pregnancy and menopause may have a similar effect. Sjögren's syndrome, which affects the immune system, is another medical condition that is tied to a lack of eye hydration.
How to Achieve Dry Eye Relief
There are numerous ways to uphold optimal vision moisture. One approach is simply to drink adequate water on a daily basis. Since overall dehydration is common, consuming more fluids may relieve dry eyes.
Remembering to blink more frequently, particularly when staring at a screen, is another way of preventing and easing symptoms of dry eye. When outside, sunglasses can protect vision from dryness and, when inside, a vaporizer or humidifier can increase moisture levels in the air.
Liquid drops are one of the most prevalent products used to treat dry eye. This form of relief works quickly, but its effects don't typically last long and the drops must be replenished regularly. Preservatives in some drops may irritate sensitive eyes, making preservative-free varieties the preferred choice. Ointments, which are thicker than drops, are most effectively used overnight, since they can reduce clear vision during waking hours.
Punctal plugs are a more sustainable form of dry eye relief. These pliable pieces of silicone are placed into the ocular drainage ducts to keep tears from quickly leaving the eye. Investigations have found that this reversible medical procedure is effective.
Nutrients that help to maintain hydrated vision come from a number of natural sources. These ingredients aid in countering inflammation that often causes dry eye, while assisting with tear-film stability. Some of the most popular nature-derived nutrients for dry eye reliefinclude:
Herbs: Various plants have long been used to encourage healthy, clear vision. In cases of dry eye, the Ayurvedic wellness herb turmeric may be especially beneficial because it modulates inflammation, helping to soothe the tear gland irritation that may exacerbate symptoms.
Phytosterols: Other botanical compounds known as phytosterols are derived from nuts and plant oils. These nutrients have inflammation-modulating and moisture-retaining properties that promote overall vision comfort and performance.
Omega-3s: The most renowned kind of essential fatty acid, omega-3s are abundant in fish such as salmon, and are also found in vegetarian sources such as flaxseeds. Omega-3s have been thoroughly investigated for an array of health benefits, including the support of ideally dehydrated eyes.