We have probably all experienced dry eyes at some point in our lives. Some of us are prone to it and will be familiar with the uncomfortable, gritty feeling this can cause.
In this blog we will discuss the symptoms of dry eye, why it happens and how it can be treated.
The Tear Ducts
Our tear ducts are crucial in ensuring our eyes are kept clean and comfortable. As you can see from the diagram we have glands and ducts along our lid line, and the main channel being our tear ducts and sac.
The main role tears play is to wash away any dirt or debris and so if our tear ducts or glands become blocked, we end up with Dry Eye.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye can be caused by a number of things but the most common are:
Build up of make up
Environmental factors e.g dusty environments
What are the symptoms?
Dry eye typically presents itself as a dry and sometimes gritty feeling
Slightly blurred vision
Watering eyes (yes - believe it or not this is actually a sign that you have dry eye and your tear function is faulty)
If you are concerned and experience severe redness, itching, discharge or sudden loss of vision you should always visit your Optician and/or GP. This is probably not Dry Eye.
How can I treat it?
Some useful home treatments are:
Warm compress - Use a clean, warm flannel morning and night, to gently massage your lids and lashes, this should eventually unblock your tear ducts/glands.
Lid wipes - Lid hygeine wipes can be purchased from your chemist and are a great way to prevent blockages.
Eye masks - Some High Street Opticians and most Chemists sell Eye Masks which can be put in the microwave and the heat used to unblock tear ducts/glands.
Artificial tears - These can be used as often as required and provide lubrication and comfort.