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If you are sensitive to how your eyes feel, you might sometimes get the sensation that your eyes are dry and itchy. This is a rather common eye condition called dry eyes. It is simply a lack of sufficient moisture in the eyes because of the absence of good-quality tears.

Who knew crying was good for you? Tears are essential for your eye health, so never be ashamed of them.

The danger dry eyes pose

When the eyes are dry and lack moisture, the eye’s surface can become inflamed and damaged. It causes eye discomfort and the eyes might sting or burn.

Causes of dry eyes

Here are some causes of dry eyes:

  1. Insufficient production of tears. This could be due to internal body and environmental factors.
  2. Poor quality tears. The absence of natural oil and mucus could lower the quality of the tears a person produces.
  3. Natural ageing process. It is part of the natural ageing process for individuals aged 65 years and above.
  4. Gender prevalence: Women are more likely to develop dry eyes because of pregnancy and menopausal changes.
  5. Medications: Medications such as decongestants and anti-depressants can reduce tear production.
  6. Long-term use of contact lenses. Contact lenses lie on the eye surface and can reduce the moisture on the eyes when left in for long periods.

Preventing dry eyes

Here are some ways to combat dry eyes:

  1. Avoid smoke, wind and air conditioning
  2. Use a humidifier to keep the air in your home from getting too dry.
  3. Limit screen time and take breaks from staring at screens.
  4. Wear wraparound sunglasses when you are outside.
  5. Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water every day to keep your eyes hydrated.
  6. Get enough sleep (about 7 to 8 hours) at night.
  7. Use artificial eye drops as recommended by your eye doctor.

Once you feel the dry sensation, visit your optometrist. Prolonged dryness can lead to more severe injury on the eyeball. Detect it early and prevent more complications. Contact us for more information on dry eyes and other eye challenges.