Almost 16 million Americans suffer from symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. In order to promote more awareness about the condition as well as share information regarding available treatments, Prevent Blindness has declared July as "Dry Eye Awareness Month".
When the eyes do not produce enough tear film, or the tear film is of poor quality, dry eye symptoms develop and this can damage the cornea if left untreated. There are several risk factors that increase the risk of developing dry eye syndrome and those include being 50 years of age or older, being diabetic and taking certain medications such as allergy medicine or insomnia medication.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome are a burning, gritty or sandy feeling in the eyes, floaters, redness and inflammation, blurry vision that comes and goes and a sensitivity to light.
Helping to reduce dry eye symptoms can include using a humidifier to help keep moisture in the air in your home or work space, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and using over-the-counter eyedrops or ointments. In more severe cases of dry eye, prescription medicines or surgery may be necessary.
If you are suffering from dry eye symptoms, it is important to consult with your eye care provider to get recommendations on the best treatment plan for your particular needs.