Dry Eye Disease is a condition that affects 1 in 4 people in the UK. It is a multi-factorial condition, so can be caused by multiple factors. Causes of chronic Dry Eye Disease can range from medical conditions, to age and gender, lifestyle choices and as a result of the environment you live in.
This blog unpacks some of the biggest Dry Eye myths, to give you all the information you need to ease dry, sore, itchy eyes
Myth 1: Dry Eye Disease only affects women
Whilst it's true that Menopause can trigger Dry Eye symptoms, making it more likely that women over 50 suffer from the condition, men can also develop Dry Eye Syndrome!
Myth 2: Dry Eye Disease is all about dryness
Dry eyes are just one of the symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. Other symptoms include:
Sensitivity to light
Eye more watery than usual
Tears drying up
Decreased tear production.
Myth 3: Eye drops are all you need to treat dry eyes
Eye drops with longer-lasting effects are an effective treatment option to ease Dry Eye Symptoms. However, some patients benefit from a multi-step treatment plan which can include the use of heat compresses, cleansers, omega-3 supplements, meibomian gland massage and eye drops.
It is useful to consult you optician to find the best treatment plan for your condition.
Myth 4: Dry Eye Disease only impacts older people
It's true that Dry Eye Disease is more likely to affect you if you are over 50, because as we age our cells experience more oxidative stress and the lacrimal gland that produces our tears deteriorates.
However, your likelihood of developing Dry Eye Disease depends on multiple different factors. Age is just one of these factors, but suffering from other conditions, living in a dry, windy environment or staring at computers for many hours can also increase your chances of developing symptoms.
Myth 5: Everyone needs the same treatment for Dry Eye
Dry Eye Disease can look and feel different for each individual, therefore not everyone needs the same treatment. For example, certain patients may have 'Aqueous Deficient' Dry Eye, which means your glands are not producing sufficient tears, others have 'Evaporative' Dry Eye, which means that the quality of the eye surface is not adequate to retain tears in eye, usually caused by meibomian gland dysfunction.
The best way to find out which type of Dry Eye you have and how best to treat it is to contact your optician.