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Dry Eye Syndrome – Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Dry eyes affect millions of people around the world. Whether you’ve spent your day at the office, out shopping, watching TV or any type of screen, you may notice that your eyes are extremely dry and uncomfortable. If you experience consistent or regular dry eye symptoms, you may have dry eye syndrome.

Causes of Dry Eye

Your eyes are protected by a thin layer of oily liquid produced by meibomian glands in your eyelids. This layer of oil stops water from evaporating out of your eyes and helps protect against foreign materials. Dry eyes can be caused when your Meibomian glands become blocked or clogged with waxy oils that prevent them from releasing the oil needed to protect your eyes. As a result, the oil layer depletes over time and your natural tear film begins evaporating much faster from your eyes, creating the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. This is a condition called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD for short and it is the cause of over 85% of all dry eye cases.

Dry eyes may feel even worse when caused by a lack of moisture in your environment. If you are exposed to consistent winds, air conditioning, heat or fans, your eyes will lose moisture quickly. Whenever you begin experiencing symptoms of dry eye, it’s important to meet with a doctor who can help you find the best treatments for dry eye.

Best Treatments for Dry Eye

One of the best treatments for dry eye, especially in dry eyes caused by the blockage of Meibomian glands, is moist heat compresses. Unfortunately, it can often be difficult and even dangerous for users to properly prepare heat compresses. Due to the sensitivity of the human eye, too much heat can damage them and too little will not be effective in treating dry eye syndrome.

Here at ThermaMEDx, we offer EverTears®, a precise self-heating moist heat compress designed specifically for use on eyes. EverTears® comes as a small, sanitary and premoistened pad. By folding the activator in the center of the pad, you can activate the heat center of the pad, which has been set to the perfect temperature to clear blockage from your Meibomian glands without damaging your eyes.

Dry Eye Prevention

If you’ve never experienced dry eye or wish to prevent a recurrence, there are a number of tactics you can use to lower your risk of getting it. The simplest way is to reduce the amount of time spent looking at digital screens like smarphones, tablets or computers. When you are using digital devices get into the habit of forcing yourself to take a break every 20 minutes and do at least 20 “blinking exercises.” Simply blinking firmly and repeatedly for less than a minute can help restore your protective oils and reduce evaporation of your tear film. Also, raising the humidity of your home by placing a humidifier, wearing proper wind protection and staying away from extreme heat will help slow the evaporation of water from your eyes. It’s also important to thoroughly clean around your eyes after wearing any form of makeup or face paint in order to lower the chance of your Meibomian glands becoming blocked.

If you have had dry eye before, these strategies remain helpful, but you may also require more treatment. Using the best treatments for dry eye, even occasionally, helps eliminate any small buildups in your Meibomian glands before they become fully blocked and unable to release necessary oils to protect your eyes.

Dry eye syndrome is very uncomfortable and can damage your eyes if left untreated. If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eye, meeting with a doctor and starting the best treatments for dry eye is extremely valuable in the long run. Even if you are not regularly experiencing dry eye, it’s important to take preventive measures to protect the health of your eyes and save yourself future discomfort.

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