Eyes are essential organs of the body and need just as much attention as other organs in the body. With its location and sensitivity, the eye is supposed to be continuously lubricated to be healthy. However, eye dryness occurs when your eyes do not get enough or high-quality tears for adequate lubrication.
Eye dryness causes discomfort and gives people a hard time. Then you ask what is in the tears that make the eyes comfortable? A tear is a mix of Watts, oil, mucus, and antibodies for moisture, lubrication, even spreading, and specific protein to protect the eye from infection. When the body does not release sufficient or good quality tears, it results in eye dryness.
Here are some of the causes of eye dryness:
Imbalance in the Tear Mixture
The first reason for eye dryness is an incorrect mix of the components of a tear. The tear comprises water, oil, mucus; and antibodies, and when they are mixed in a wrong proportion, eye dryness can occur.
- The Oil
The oil content of the tear is released from the edges of the eyelids. The purpose of the oil is to smooth the tear surface and reduce the rate of evaporation. Without an adequate amount of oil in the mix, tears will evaporate quickly; and the result will be eye dryness.
- The Water
Water and salt mixture comes from the middle layer of the eye. It is meant for providing moisture and cleansing the eyes of irritants and particles. If the water layer is unusually thin, the oil and mucus layers are likely to touch each other and cause inadequate discharge. This will result in eye dryness.
Reduction in Tear Production
When the production of tears drops, which usually happen due to aging and hormonal changes, it can cause eye dryness. Other reasons for reduced production of tears include vitamin A deficiency, diabetes, and radiation treatment. Other reasons for a drop-in tear production include autoimmune diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma) and refractive eye surgeries like LASIK.
Some medications can cause eye dryness; that is why you should see an optometrist when you have this condition for professional examination and advice. Medications that can result in eye dryness include diuretics, birth control pills, some sleeping pills, some antidepressants, acne drugs, and antihistamines.
Certain climatic conditions cause eye dryness. Examples are dry climate, wind, sun, smoke, high altitude, and gazing at a computer monitor.
Excessive use of contact lenses is also another factor that can cause eye dryness.
If you have been experiencing eye dryness for some time, visit your optometrist for advice and treatment.