Fighting Back Against Dry Eyes | Dry Eye Treatment Options - GUNNAR

Fighting Back Against Dry Eyes

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Some problems seem too simple and pervasive to have solutions. Dry eye symptoms affect 30% of Americans. With numbers like that, you’d think no easy answer exists. In some cases, that’s certainly true, but a little education goes a long way in this regard. Wherever you find yourself in the range of dry eyes, taking some action will bring relief.

Dry Eyes Symptoms

The most obvious symptom needs no explanation: Dry eyes. Whatever the cause of your suffering, you probably find yourself here because your eyes are dry. Along with dry eyes often comes the following:

  • Itching, Stinging, or Burning: Like with dry skin, dry eyes can cause irritation resulting in this symptom.
  • Excessive Tearing: Your eyes try to compensate for the dryness by creating additional tears. Unfortunately, it does not help much, but can be quite bothersome.
  • Sandy or Gritty Sensation: Having sand in your eyes is no fun. Some dry eye sufferers report a similar sensation when feeling especially strong dry eye symptoms.
  • Episodes of Blurred Vision: The tear film works as the first refractive surface; when the eyes are dry that refractive surface is not smooth causing intermittent blurred vision.
  • Redness: From all of the natural rubbing and tearing, your eyes often appear red during or after a stint of dry eyes.

All of the above follow naturally from the irritation dry eyes cause. Keep a close watch on your symptoms. When you begin to experience one or more of these your condition begins to be more serious.

Who Suffers

Of those who experience dry eyes, 60% are women. The medical reason for this shocking number is the frequent hormone changes natural to the female body. Additionally, women are more likely to experience dry eyes after menopause, again due to hormones. Other causes (as shown on in the infographic above, and elsewhere) include:

  • Medical Side Effects: Certain medications have side effects that include dry eyes.
  • Age: The older we get the more likely, statistically, we are to experience dry eyes.
  • Auto-immune Disorders (Like Arthritis): Certain disorders, including arthritis, include dry eyes as a symptom.
  • Environment: Dry, windy, or hot environments can all contribute.
  • Screens: Staring at digital screens for extended periods dries your eyes out, among other things.
  • Contacts: Leaving your contact lenses in for too long causes dry eyes.

For better or worse, just about anyone has the potential to suffer from dry eyes.

a girl applying a dry eye treatment

Dry Eye Treatment and Solutions

If you suffer due to medication, you might ask your doctor about other options. Often avoiding dry eyes in cases like that is pretty much impossible. Same goes for growing older or suffering a disease. In these cases there are solutions, but no cures, not yet. Below we lay out 3 solutions.

  1. Topical Medication: Eye drops, whether over the counter or prescription, can go a long way to helping those who struggle with dry eyes with no more permanent answer.
  2. Adjust Environment: If you work in an office under a vent, request to be moved or close the vent. If you work outside in the wind, protect your eyes with safety glasses. Look at your situation, and see how you can adjust to help you eyes.
  3. Avoid Screens: Most of us stare at screens for hours at a time, and many of us can’t avoid it. Practicing healthy habits around screens helps, but if you’re working on a screen 8 hours a day and you suffer from dry eyes, typical adjustment of screen angle, and intermediate breaks won’t cut it. Blue light blocking glasses provide the most viable solution. 

Many ask whether blue light blocking glasses really help with dry eyes. Not all blue light blocking glasses are created equal, but when you make the right decision you will certainly improve your eye health. Learn more about GUNNAR’s patented lens technology, and how it will help your dry eyes today.

eye drops against dry eyes
ted richards

As a writer for the past 7 years, an online tutor, and a graduate student at Claremont Graduate University, Ted spends a lot of time in front of screens, and has felt for himself the negative effects of such extended exposure. Ted’s experience with digital technology has made him a crusader for the cause of blue light protection. He writes hoping to help others experience relief.

Dr. Zilnicki Author Contributor

Dr. Zilnicki, is part owner of Twin Forks Optometry & Vision Therapy in Long Island. With her business partner, Dr. Jessica Licausi, she co-hosts the podcast “Vision is More Than 20/20”. She is also an active member of the College of Optometrists in Vision Development representative writer for Vision Therapy on the website NewGradOptometry.com.

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