We have all experienced dry eyes, when there is air movement on the eye, or you’ve been watching a screen too long. Symptoms include:
- Irritated, itchy, burning eyes
- Tearing or watery eyes (to compensate for dryness)
- Sensitivity to light
- Thicker, sticky secretions on the eye
- Tired eyes, blurred vision
- Eye redness
Don’t delay treating dry eyes. Lack of tearing will increase chance of damage to the surface of the eye and chance of infection. We need tears to keep our eyes healthy and clear of debris. There are many causes of dry eye, some of which can be easily addressed. Causes include:
- Aging eyes, less tear production
- Damage to eye or supporting structures of the eye (glands, ducts, etc.)
- Increased evaporation of tears from air movement, smoke, dry air, reduced eye blinking
- Wearing contacts
- Medical conditions (thyroid conditions, rheumatoid arthritis, skin conditions, diabetes, lupus, and others)
- Medications (decongestants, blood pressure, acne, birth control, and others)
Your Pharmachoice pharmacist is poised to help you determine how to treat acute dry eyes, and improve chronic conditions of dry eye. For instance, did you know that artificial tears should be used regularly for chronic dry eyes even if your eyes feel fine? Also, some eye drops will discolour your contact lenses! Expiration dates of eye drops are for unopened bottles, once you squeeze out a drop they won’t stay sterile to the stamped expiry date? Did you know that you will have crisper vision if your eyes stay moist?
Your tears have three components, an outer lipid layer, middle aqueous, and inner mucin layer. Eye drops may address some or all of the different tear components. You may have to use a lubricant at night, and drops during the day. Your Pharmachoice pharmacist can explain the differences and help you choose, or perhaps provide a better alternative than the one you are currently using.
Your pharmacist can show you how to choose eye drops with the proper formulation to provide relief for your condition. Get a review of how to properly use drops. Discuss medications and medical conditions, whether they may be one of the causes for your dry eyes. Ask away – get the facts from your pharmacist and keep your eyes feeling good and healthy.