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January 06, 2023 3 min read

 Regardless if you’ve experienced dry eyes because of health issues, medications, or environmental factors, you’d know that this condition can be uncomfortable. It can have different effects on your vision, ranging from mild to more severe problems.

In rare cases, dry eyes can also lead to fluctuating vision and permanent blindness. And for this reason, it’s crucial to find the underlying cause and the proper treatment and take the necessary precautions.

If you want to protect your eyes from this dreaded condition, this article will discuss how dry eye forms, the common types, how severe dry eyes look, and what increases your risks of developing it. We’ll also tackle potential corneal problems and how to protect your vision.

How Dry Eye Forms

Dry eyes occur when you have an unstable tear film, the part that comforts and hydrates it. It has three main components: mucus, water, and oil.

The mucus helps stick to the tear film and spreads out evenly to cover your entire eye. Whereas water hydrates and cleans your eyes from foreign objects. On the other hand, the oil seals in the tear film and prevents evaporation.

2 Common Types of Dry Eyes

Aqueous tear deficiency occurs when the eyes lack the moisture to keep them lubricated. On the other hand, evaporative dry eye occurs when the tear film lacks oil, which causes tears to evaporate more quickly than usual. Evaporative dry eye originates from meibomian gland dysfunction. These glands produce the tear film’s oil layer.

Characteristics of Severe Dry Eye 

Regardless if you have aqueous tear deficiency or evaporative dry eye, severe dry eyes left untreated can lead to infections, blurry or fluctuating vision, corneal damage, and contact lens problems.

What Increases My Risk?

Specific health conditions like diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, rosacea, and Sjorgen’s syndrome may increase your risk of developing severe dry eyes.

It’s crucial to visit your optometrist for regular check-ups so they can assess potential tear film issues and ensure your eyes remain healthy and comfortable, especially if you have these conditions or are at risk of developing them.

Corneal Problems Resulting from Dry Eyes

The cornea is the eye’s transparent, curved outer layer that permits light to enter and go to the retina.

Severe dry eyes can alter your vision and cause corneal damage if you don’t seek treatment. Corneal damage can trigger inflammation, scarring, and cornea ulceration.

After we discuss your guide to dry eyes, this section will tackle two corneal problems stemming from dry eyes.

1. Corneal Ulcers 

This condition occurs when open sores form on the cornea and can be infectious or non-infectious. Dry eyes increase your risk of developing them because the tear production reduces your eye’s ability to wash away bacteria. While it’s a rare occurrence, it’s still best to take preventive measures to avoid complications. 

Symptoms include blurry vision, pus or discharge, eye redness, severe pain, light sensitivity, watery eyes, inflammation, and itchiness.

2. Keratitis 

This condition occurs when the cornea, the front of the eye’s protective layer, gets inflamed. These symptoms include redness, wateriness, blurry vision, light sensitivity, and eye pain. While keratitis can clear up without treatment, we recommend consulting your optometrist because severe cases can lead to vision issues or infections.

How to Protect Your Vision

You can ensure your eyes’ optimal health by scheduling an appointment with your optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination.

Final Thoughts

Dry eyes can be an uncomfortable situation for anyone. Educating yourself on this condition and taking preventive measures can help ensure your eyes’ best condition.

Dry Eye Mask offers reliable dry eye treatment products to relieve our patients’ dry and itchy eyes. Visit our shop today!

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