Increasingly, people are flowing into their optometrists’ offices with symptoms of stinging, burning and a scratchy sensation in their eyes. Most of these cases are symptoms suffered as a result of dry eye or in medical terms Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS).
The condition is most prevalent among woman and older people and affects about 25 million Americans. The two main causes of dry eyes are:
- eyes don’t produce enough tears or
- poor tear quality also known as evaporative dry eye.
Of course our eyes produce tears when we cry. But did you know our eyes are constantly producing tears and not just when we cry? This constant production of tears produce a thin tear film which is a multi-layer of fluid that coats they eyes all the time. The purpose of the film is to prevent the eyes from becoming dry and keep the eyes clear and comfortable.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal Article on Dry Eyes, the top reasons for dry eye are:
- spending a lot of time in low-humidity places–think air-conditioned spaces or airplane cabins
- spending hours staring at screens–smartphones, computers, video games
- medications–especially antihistamines and antidepressants
- some eye procedures such as Lasik–can be temporary
- some autoimmune diseases
- environments like the beach or mountains that can be dry or windy
- contact lens issues such as intolerance
The article also suggests various treatment options for the condition.