Dry Eye in the US
A US study of the nearly 30 million people living with dry eye disease concluded in 2018. The study explored the relationship between dry eyes and quality of life and had surprising results. They concluded everything from minor discomfort and having difficulty performing simple tasks to extreme pain and debilitating depression and anxiety. So it can cause more than discomfort!
Dry Eye is an often times a complex disease that causes frustration for both patients and their physicians. It has many causes that often overlap and interact. Its effects differ from patient to patient. On diagnostic tests some people show no signs of it and feel horrible while others test positive but feel fine.
Here are some common signs you have it:
- gritty feeling as if there is something in your eyes
- burning or stinging
- blurry vision
- dry feeling eyes, especially upon waking
What Causes It?
When the eyes can’t produce enough tears or they produce inferior quality tears the surface of the eye becomes inadequately lubricated. Exterior triggers such as environment, weather, pollen, pollution can play a role too! Medications like antihistamines, asthma medications and birth control pills can also cause dry eyes too. And of course, it can be made worse by computer use, eye strain or the use of contact lenses.
Its important for patients to be clear with doctors about what they are feeling and experiencing. Patients with dry eyes find it harder to perform simple tasks of daily life. They also reported difficulty establishing positive and rewarding relationships with others. Keeping your doctor fully informed will help you both to keeping you comfortable and well.
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