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National Dry Eye Awareness Month

National Dry Eye Awareness Month | Excel Eyecare Professionals 

Dry eye is a common condition that affects many people. If you're one of the millions of people who suffer from dry eye, you know how uncomfortable and frustrating it can be. National Dry Eye Awareness Month is a great time to get information and find out how you can get relief from this stubborn eye condition. This includes understanding the symptoms and causes of dry eye, as well as learning about the treatments available. If you're affected by dry eye, don't worry - there are ways to get relief! By raising awareness about this condition during July, we can help more people get the treatment they need.

What is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a common chronic eye condition caused by a lack of lubrication on the eye’s surface. Dry eye is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of symptoms. Some signs of Dry eye include:

  • Aching
  • Itching
  • Burning
  • Soreness
  • Feeling something's "in" your eye
  • Red eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Light sensitivity

So what causes these symptoms? Your eyes need adequate lubrication from your tears to see well and feel healthy. Tears keep the eye moist and wash away dirt and harmful microorganisms. Tears are composed of three layers: an oily layer, a watery layer, and a mucus layer.

Each tear layer serves a vital function:

  1. The oily layer coats the outside and keeps the tear from drying up prematurely.
  2. The aqueous layer takes up most of the eye and washes away particles.
  3. The mucus layer is in the core of the tear and helps the tear stick to the eye.

Each tear layer is produced by a gland on or near the eye. Any dysfunction of these components can cause tear instability, which leads to dry eye disease.

Dry Eye Causes

There are many causes of dry eye disease. One common cause is using a computer, smartphone, or other electronic screens for an extended time. When we look at computer screens, we tend to blink less, which leads to the evaporation of tears and dry eye disease.

There are many other causes of dry eye disease, including:

  • Contact lens wear
  • Indoor and Outdoor environments
  • Smoking
  • Aging
  • Gender
  • Medications

Dry Eye Prevention Test/Treatment

For most people with mild and occasional dry eye symptoms, hydration is key. Be sure to drink plenty of water and use over-the-counter eye drops to alleviate symptoms. Run a humidifier during the winter and be sure to wear eye protection when performing outdoor activities.

Those who spend extended amounts of time in front of computer screens should find ways to relax their eyes, such as:

  • Lower your screen brightness and position your screen at least an arm’s length away.
  • Using the 20-20-20 rule, which states that every 20 minutes, you should look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds, which will help relax your eyes.
  • Remember to blink often; this will help replenish your eye from dryness caused by extended screen time.

    If you are still experiencing dry eye symptoms, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with us today. Dr. Kubicki will look through your eye health history and help determine the cause of your dry eye condition. Dr. Kubicki may also perform special tests that will look into the quality and volume of your tears. Severe cases of dry eye disease may need prescription medication and surgery. Our optometrist Dr. Kubicki can help diagnose and treat your dry eye disease so that you can enjoy clear vision and comfortable eyes once again. Schedule your appointment today!