Dry eye disease is a medical condition that occurs when the body cannot produce enough high-quality tears to keep the eyes properly lubricated. It is also known as dry eye syndrome or keratitis sicca, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca and is recognized as a multifactorial disease of the eye surface. People with dry eyes experience either a burning or scratchy discomfort. If left untreated, it can cause long-term complications.
Dry eye is a common condition and affects millions of people worldwide annually. While it isn’t a life-threatening disease, it can be annoying as it can result in impeded or blurred vision and directly affect a person’s lifestyle. Tears are an important component of eye function. Every time we blink, a thin layer of liquid covers the eyes and keeps the surface clean and clear. However, when you cannot produce enough high-quality tears, you won’t receive enough lubrication to keep your eyes functioning properly.
Several treatments are available for dry eyes. While some are home remedies, it’s still advisable to consult doctors regarding prescriptions to ease the discomfort associated with the condition. There are also surgical and non-invasive procedures, such as light therapy for dry eyes, that can ease the pain. These procedures are safe and can remove blockages and improve the production of tears to keep the eyes properly lubricated.
Here are some common dry eye symptoms that people must be wary of.
Scratchy feeling that something’s inside your eye
Foreign objects can create that scratchy feeling inside your eyes. Pet dander, pollen, dust, and other particulates can irritate the eyes. While you may want to rub your eyes to relieve the discomfort, you must refrain from doing so because it can scratch your eye surface. Instead of rubbing, you can use eyedrops or wash your eyes with cool, running water.
Unsightly mucus around your eye
People with dry eyes must contend with unsightly mucus surrounding the eye, especially when they wake up. While people may find the topic of mucus off-putting, you must remember that mucus is beneficial as it can filter irritants and other allergens. It is also responsible for keeping your eyes moist. However, excessive mucus around the eyes can cause concern as it can indicate eye conditions such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis, or dry eyes.
Doctors don’t recommend eye mucus fishing using cotton swabs as they can scratch your eyes. Doing so might counteract the signal that your eyes need more lubrication as you remove the mucus. Instead, you can use a wet cloth to remove dried mucus.
Another symptom of dry eye that you have to be aware of is blurred vision. Blurred vision can happen in one or both eyes and can be sudden. People who experience blurred vision cannot see things clearly and can also experience nausea, bouts of dizziness, loss of balance, and slurred speech. If you experience these additional symptoms, you must seek medical advice immediately.
Dry eye is a common medical condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Several treatments are available to ease the pain and discomfort from such a condition.