Say goodbye to dry eyes

Say goodbye to dry eyes

If your eyes feel dry, gritty or sore – and it gets worse as the day progresses – you may have dry eye syndrome.

This is a condition that develops when your eyes are no longer moist enough. Healthy eyes have a permanent teary film that keeps the front surface of the eye healthy and helps you to see clearly. But if your eyes stop making enough of this film – or the quality is not as good as it used to be – your eyes might start feeling dry and uncomfortable.

Other symptoms include redness, eyelids that stick together when you wake up, and temporarily blurred vision that usually improves when you blink. In more severe cases, your eyes might be very red and painful, extremely sensitive to light and your vision may weaken.  

Often, dry eye syndrome is just part of the natural ageing process, with an estimated one in three people over the age of 65 experiencing dry eye syndrome. However, anyone of any age can be affected.

An image

It’s more common in women than men – as women are more likely to develop dry eyes because of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives, or menopause.

Some medications can reduce the amount of moisture your eyes usually produce, including antihistamines and antidepressants, and there are certain medical conditions that may leave you with drier eyes, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or if you have thyroid problems.

Exposure to smoke, wind or dry climates can increase tear evaporation, resulting in dry eye symptoms. This can also happen if you stare at your computer screen for too long every day!

Whatever the cause, it’s important to find a way to overcome dry eye syndrome as it can damage the front surface of your eye – and your eyesight.   

There are several easy steps you can take to reduce dry eye symptoms:

  • When reading or staring at a computer screen for long periods of time, remember to look away from time to time and try to blink regularly.
  • Your Spec-Savers optometrist might recommend that you use eye drops daily, such as Optive Fusion eye drops, to relieve dry eye symptoms.
  • Wear wrap-around sunglasses to reduce your eyes’ exposure to wind and sun.
  • Take nutritional supplements containing essential fatty acids.
  • Drink plenty of water each day.
  • Increase the humidity in the air at work and home, and avoid environments that are drier than normal, including planes and places at high altitudes.

If none of this helps, ask your Spec-Savers optometrist for further advice.

Dry eye syndrome can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination.

You may need additional eye drops to help your eyes produce more of the teary film you need. You may even need a surgical procedure, where tiny plugs are inserted to block the tear ducts that moisture in your eyes would normally drain out of.

Alternatively, you might need eye drops or ointment to treat inflammation around the surface of your eye – and warm compresses or lid massages may be recommended.

Don’t suffer with dry eyes – take action to give your eyes the relief they need, and to protect your vision.

Date Published: 
Spec-Savers is a proud member of the MediWallet medical account network
Spec-Savers has branches throughout South Africa in the Eastern Cape, Freestate, Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga, North Western, Northern Cape, Western Cape
Gauteng | Cape Town | Pretoria | Bloemfontein | Port Elizabeth | Durban | Pietermaritzburg | Potchefstroom | Upington | Kimberley