Dry eye affects us emotionally too – get it under control
If you are suffering from dry eye you will be all too familiar with the symptoms of dry, sore, red, watery or tired eyes, you may also be getting tired of looking and feeling less than your best. So it might not be a surprise to hear the news that according to an article published in the European Journal of Ophthalmology the level of depression in dry eye patients may be as high as 40%. As well as depression 39% of those experiencing dry eye symptoms also reported anxiety, this was x2.3 higher than non-dry eye control groups. Figures like these are a cause for concern and a call out to those experiencing dry eye to take action.
Dry eye needs to be taken seriously
Dry eye is one of the most common eye conditions in the world, to such an extent that it is now on the radar of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The WHO have called for dry eye not to be overlooked because as a chronic progressive condition if left untreated it will only get worse – leading to impacted physical and mental health.
But it is complicated
The link between dry eye disease and mental health is well established but the relationship is not fully understood. Some studies suggest the increased in depression and anxiety is due to the dry eye symptoms but other studies have reported people with depression are more likely not to cope with dry eye and are therefore, more likely to complain of their dry eye condition. This study concluded that the use of antidepressants should be considered in the diagnosis of dry eye. Whichever way the relationship works one thing is clear to the Dry Eye Zone – everything will be a whole lot better if dry eye is effectively managed.
Dry Eye reduces self-confidence
The findings from a series of focus groups among dry eye sufferers was published in the Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. The researchers concluded that dry eye has a significant impacts on your quality of life, affecting areas such as work life, relationships, social life, and emotional well-being. The discussions found that women were particularly affected due to not being able to wear make-up and contact lenses. If your eyes are not looking and feeling their best it is easy to understand why your confidence could be affected. This is why the Dry Eye Zone has sourced dry eye friendly make-up and provides advice to contact lens wearers to help achieve longer more comfortable wearing times.
Top-tips from the Dry Eye Zone on how to manage your dry eye symptoms
The number one tip to get your dry eye under control, if you have not already done so, is to book an appointment with your eye care professional. Many independent practitioners with a special interest in dry eye run dedicated clinics – but you will need to book as demand can be high.
While you wait for that appointment the Dry Eye Zone would advise you make sure your dry eyes are well hydrated using a preservative free dry eye drop such as HydraMed. These eye drops will help to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. But do not wait for dry eye symptoms to start before reaching for your eye drops, instead use them regularly throughout the day and especially when you are in a drying environment.
If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms then you should ask the advice of your eye care professional. Why not book your next eye examination with an independent optician today.
Basilious A, Xu CY, Malvankar-Mehta MS. Dry eye disease and psychiatric disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Ophthalmol. 2022 Jul;32(4):1872-1889. doi: 10.1177/11206721211060963. Epub 2021 Dec 22. PMID: 34935549; PMCID: PMC9297048.
Wen, W., Wu, Y., Chen, Y., Gong, L., Li, M., Chen, X., Yan, M., Xiao, Z. and Sun, X., 2012. Dry eye disease in patients with depressive and anxiety disorders in Shanghai. Cornea, 31(6), pp.686-692.
P Mertzanis; K Venkataraman; C Begley; R Chalmers; L Abetz. The Impact of Dry Eye on Daily Life: Results from a Qualitative Study. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science December 2002, Vol.43, 74.
He Q, Chen Z, Xie C, Liu L, Yang H, Wei R. Relationship Between Dry Eye Disease and Emotional Disorder: The Mediating Effect of Health Anxiety. Front Public Health. 2022 Feb 28;10:771554. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2022.771554. PMID: 35296049; PMCID: PMC8918502.
Guo OD LW, Akpek E. The negative effects of dry eye disease on quality of life and visual function. Turk J Med Sci. 2020 Nov 3;50(SI-2):1611-1615. doi: 10.3906/sag-2002-143. PMID: 32283910; PMCID: PMC7672346.