What is it?
Each time the eye blinks the eyelid spreads your tears across the surface of the eye to form a film. This film acts to reduce the evaporation of moisture from the eye, helping it stay hydrated. Dry eyes can occur when either you don't produce enough tears or when a gap in the protective tear film allows moisture to be lost.
What are the main causes?
- Contact lenses - Over 75% of contact lens wearers suffer from dry eyes at some point
- Central heating and air conditioning - these dry out the air so reduce moisture in the eyes
- Not blinking enough - When you stare at your computer screens or TV for a long time your rate of blinking reduces from about 22 blinks per minute to as low as 7 times a minute! This reduces the spread of tears across your eye leading to damage to the protective lipid layer over the eye.
- 22% of dry eye sufferers blame their computer for causing their symptoms
- Ageing - We tend to make fewer tears as we get older so as you age you are likely to be affected more. For women, hormonal changes during the menopause can also lead to more frequent dry eyes.
- Some medications can cause dry eyes as a side effect or make existing dry eyes worse (e.g. beta blockers, the pill and antihistamines)
What are the symptoms?
Your eyes will feel dry, irritated & uncomfortable. You may experience a gritty, burning sensation when you blink although dry eye should not cause significant pain.
Dry eye will usually affect both eyes together but your vision should remain normal. Symptoms often worsen as the day goes on.
What can I do about it?
There are three products in the Optrex range designed to help tackle dry eyes. All are suitable for use with contact lenses:
Optrex ActiMist™ Eye Spray for Dry & Irritated Eyes - Simply spray onto your closed eyelids for effective relief from the irritation caused by dry eyes. If you find drops, gels and washes difficult & messy to apply then this is an ideal alternative.
Optrex Rehydrating Eye Drops for dry eyes instantly rehydrate and refresh dry eyes and provide long lasting relief.
- Drink plenty of water - this helps keep your whole body, including your eyes, hydrated.
- If you work at a computer then remember to take regular breaks and blink as often as you can.
- If possible try turning the heating or air con down a bit to avoid drying out your eyes.
- Try to keep your workplace well ventilated. If this is difficult then keep a bowl of water nearby (preferably by the heater if it's on) to increase the humidity in the room.
- If you wear contact lenses try to apply Optrex ActiMist™ Eye Spray for Dry & Irritated Eyes or Optrex Rehydrating Eye Drops for dry eyes regularly even before the eyes feel irritated.
- Try applying a hot compress to the eyes to help stimulate the tear ducts to produce more tears.
Want to know more?
Find out more about Optrex ActiMist™ Eye Spray for Dry & Irritated Eyes
Find out more about Optrex Rehydrating Eye Drops for dry eyes
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