By A.S. (staff writer) , published on December 15, 2022
Can dry eyes lead to blindness? Dry eye syndrome causes symptoms that range from mild to severe. A normal person usually gets a bout of acute dry eye conditions like a burning sensation and mild discomfort when he is glued to the computer screen or on a dry weather day when he is out for errands.
Dry eye syndrome mainly hampers tear production and its functions. A normal tear film production with balanced evaporation and drainage rates and uniform coating that spreads the eye’s front layer ensures a well-protected corneal layer - A layer that contributes to 80 % of refraction, thus, vision.
Dry eyes can cause irreversible damage to the cornea in severe and chronic cases or usually when the underlying condition is not well addressed. The predisposing factors of dry eye syndrome could cause minor scratches and dry spots on the cornea to non-healing scars which lead to permanent vision loss.
Experiencing blurry vision after a long day at work on the digital screen or simply going to bed at night with a gritty eye feeling should not be ignored. Moreover, other common chronic conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis should be controlled with proper drug compliance. If someone is using antidepressant pills or anti-hypertensive drugs, must be highly sensitive and conscious of any abnormal symptoms they feel regarding vision and eye care. Ignoring dry eye symptoms following these predisposing factors leads to severe eye ulcers which ultimately lead to blindness if managed improperly and untimely.
A variety of factors that disrupt the healthy tear film can cause dry eyes. The tear film is composed of three layers: fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus. This combination usually keeps your eyes' surface lubricated, smooth, and clear. Dry eyes can be caused by issues with any of these layers.
While there are numerous causes of dry eye disease, some people are predisposed to it more than others. You are more likely to develop dry eye disease if you:
Are at least 50 years old
Use contact lenses.
Spend way too much time looking at digital screens without taking breaks
Take antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants as directed.
People who suffer from dry eyes complain of: burning or stinging
Inflammation and redness
Mucus that is stringy
Exceptional sensitivity, particularly to cigarette smoke
Temporary blurred vision
Increased light sensitivity
Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take to avoid drying out your eyes and endangering your vision. It is up to you to take the initiative and combat dry eye disease symptoms.
Attempt to blink more frequently. Allow your eyes to rest on a regular basis. Adjust the contrast and brightness of your device screens while dimming the lights around you
If you still have dry eyes after making these lifestyle changes, Foresee Eyecare offers additional in-office and at-home therapies such as:
Eyedrops and ointments available over-the-counter: Over-the-counter tear film replacements known as "artificial tears" are available at any pharmacy. These eyedrops may replace the eye's natural tear film and improve moisture.
Prescription medications: If you have a severe case of dry eye, your eye doctor may recommend eye drops to help your eyes produce more tears.
Tear duct plugs: Dry eye occurs when the eye drains too much tear film before it can provide moisture to the eye. Your eye doctor can place plugs in your tear ducts, which are located at the inner corners of your eyes, to help keep tears in your eyes. If necessary, these plugs can be removed.
Can Dry Eye Syndrome Lead To Blindness? (2022, October 27). From EyeCare about Vagas: https://www.eyecareaboutvegas.com/can-dry-eye-syndrome-lead-to-blindness/
Eye Diseases & Conditions. (n.d.). From Prevent Blindness: https://preventblindness.org/understanding-dry-eye/
Rowan, D. (2021, September 17). Can Dry Eye Cause Blindness? The Long-Term Effects of Dry Eye. From EyeZone: https://eyezonenevada.com/can-dry-eye-cause-blindness-the-long-term-effects-of-dry-eye/
Sandhya Pruthi, M. (2022, October 27). Dry eyes. From MAYO CLINIC: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371863