Chronic dry eyes is an often debilitating condition that affects approximately 4-5 million people. And that’s just the US!
As the lipid or aqueous component of your eye’s tear film deteriorates, the eye surface becomes dry and irritable causing localised inflammation on and around the eye. Blepharitis, meibomian and lacrimal gland dysfunction are all related symptons of chronic dry eyes.
More often than not the root cause of these issues is caused by a chronic hormone imbalance left untreated for many months or years. It is highly likely a key nutritional deficiency is also a factor.
An illness of any kind is typically labelled acute or chronic in nature. Acute refers to issues of a short-term and curable nature, whilst chronic is defined as recurrent and long lasting. In many ways chronic conditions such as dry eyes are more difficult to manage, requiring a lot of care to look after ongoing symptoms.
Just when you think a breakthrough is made and relief is at hand, the symptoms flare up again leaving you miserable and frustrated.
It is common for symptoms of dry eyes to wax and wane, feeling better some weeks and not others. While this in part can be due to many minor factors, the major catalyst for the relief of symptoms is quite possibly related to the way your hormone levels also fluctuate over time.
As we age, feel stressed, take a holiday, feel pain and joy for example, all these factors, either positive or negative, have an affect on our hormones.
When our hormones are balanced and in harmony with each other, the symptoms of dry eyes slowly begin to improve.
Some of the typical ways chronic dry eyes are managed are:
– cold or warm compresses to soothe the eye and help the tear film flow over the eye better;
– eye lid scrubs for blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction;
– eye goggles and sleep masks to retain moisture and protect the eye surface;
– artificial tears and lubricants to provide moisture and soothe the stinging and burning associated with dry eyes;
– dietary supplements such as fish oils (omega 3) vitamins A and D.
Chronic dry eyes is a condition that needs careful day-to-day-management with one or more of the above options, not to mention a little sympathy from friends and loved ones. Specialists can also be helpful in order to pin point the exact nature of your eye condition.
Even allowing for all the many management options for dry eye symptoms, the underlying causes always need to be addressed. After all, your eyes were once clear and bright. There is a way back from a chronic conditions like this.