7 Myths About Using Home Remedies to Cure Dry Eyes
Chronic dry eye syndrome is a common condition and one that requires treatment. The problem is that there is a good deal of misinformation out there about treating this issue. Let’s take a look at some popular myths about treating dry eyes.
Myth #1: All eye drops are the same.
Eye drops such as artificial tears are easily found over the counter and may help temporarily relieve the symptoms of dry eyes. These drops are intended to mimic real tears, but that’s easier said than done. Different brands use various mixtures of ingredients, including lubricants, electrolytes, guar gum, and preservatives. These ingredients can cause additional problems in certain people, particularly preservatives, which can exacerbate dry eyes. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask your eye doctor for a recommendation.
Myth #2: Eye drops designed to reduce redness will also reduce dryness.
When your eyes are dry, they may appear red and irritated – but these are results or signs, they do not represent the underlying problem. There are various reasons why your eyes may be red, including allergy, infection, and fatigue. Eye drops designed to reduce redness are called decongestants and work by constricting blood vessels in the eye. These drops are only a “quick fix” – long-term use can lead to “rebound redness” or a dilated pupil and won’t solve the real issue if you have chronic dry eye syndrome.
Myth #3: Increasing the humidity in your environment is sufficient.
While environmental factors such as wind and low humidity can cause the eyes to feel dry or increase dryness, they aren’t usually the only cause of chronic dry eye. The main problem associated with dry eye is a reduction in the quality of tears and/or a decrease in the quantity of tears. This can be further exacerbated by using certain medications, aging, recent eye surgery, or wearing contact lenses. Furthermore, women may experience hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause or when using birth control pills that can lead to reduced tear production. So, increasing the humidity in your home or office isn’t usually the only solution to chronic dry eye, although it may help.
Myth #4: Treating allergy symptoms will eliminate dry eyes.
Although dry eyes and allergies can have similar symptoms and can appear simultaneously, there are some key differences between these two conditions. Eye allergies may cause watering and redness, but the main symptom is usually itching. Typically, sensitivity to substances that aren’t ordinarily harmful such as pollen or cat dander, causes eye allergies. There are also eye allergies that are more serious and require medical attention. It’s important to receive an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment for your specific symptom as the treatment for ocular allergies is different than that for chronic dry eye.
Myth #5: If your eyes are watery, you don’t have dry eyes.
If watery eyes are driving you nuts, then you may be surprised to hear that chronic dry eye may be the cause. It seems counterintuitive, but watery eyes are a common symptom of dry eye syndrome. Chronic dryness irritates the eyes, sometimes triggering the lacrimal glands to produce excessive tears that aren’t drained easily from the eye. Also, these tears may not be of optimal quality, making the eyes more – rather than less – irritated.
Myth #6: Chronic dry eye isn’t serious, and you can treat it yourself.
Temporary irritation and dryness are common and not necessarily a cause for concern. However, when dryness becomes chronic, the result can be serious irritation to your eyes and vision. Without proper care, dry eye syndrome can cause severe discomfort and even pain. In addition, foreign materials that get into the eye can lead to irritation, inflammation, vision problems, and even eye infections or corneal scarring.
Myth #7: Chronic dry eye is a condition you just have to live with.
If you’ve heard that there are no suitable treatments for chronic dry eye syndrome, don’t worry – it isn’t true. There are indeed plenty of effective treatments that can not only relieve your immediate symptoms but also help protect your eyes from future damage. If your dry eyes persist be sure to see your eye doctor for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.
Patient with dry eye that found a solution with scleral lenses
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