Dangers Of Letting Your Chronic Dry Eyes Go Unchecked

Dry eyes are not uncommon for people who are taking certain prescriptions or those who are getting older. It can be treated easily when caught early. However, ignoring the problem could lead to serious effects. Here are some possible outcomes to be aware of.

Dangers Of Letting Your Chronic Dry Eyes Go Unchecked

Discomfort

Dry eyes may go unnoticed at first, but the problem often progresses over time. Your eyes may feel irritated, itchy, or sore, or you may feel like there is something in your eyes, like sand or grit. The more you rub your eyes to alleviate the discomfort, the more damage that may result. Excessive watering of your eyes can disrupt your daily activities. 

When you notice this irritating sensation, take steps to correct it appropriately and safely rather than ignoring or neglecting it. You may not immediately think of it as a problem. Many people write off itchy or dry eyes as seasonal allergies, a cold, or just a night of bad sleep. However, if the problem is persistent, you will need to talk to an eye doctor soon. Even if your dry eyes are caused by something else, your symptoms need to be addressed quickly so that they don’t cause more problems as time goes on.

Vision Problems

Dry eyes, if not treated, can interfere with your vision. Your eyesight may get blurry or distorted, and the pain may intensify. The white part of your eye may turn red. If you continue to rub your eye or let it stay dry over time, a long-term irritation or infection could develop. Dry eyes should be checked by the eye doctor to see if your vision has been impacted as well as how to treat the problem.

You may also notice that you get headaches more easily. Blurry vision causes your eyes to use more energy focusing, and this can lead to eye strain which can cause headaches. While these sorts of headaches are not too bad or as debilitating as a migraine, they can be frustrating especially if they occur often. If you already suffer from frequent headaches or migraines, eye strain can make these issues worse.

Eye Damage

In addition to obscuring your vision, dry eyes can cause physical damage to various parts of the eye. This can occur either from the dryness itself or from your attempts to soothe your eyes by rubbing them or wiping them with a cloth. Various parts of the eye like the cornea or lens may be scratched, irritated, or injured.Corneal scratches aren’t uncommon, but because the cornea is so sensitive it can be very painful. 

Your tears protect your eyes, which are delicate and exposed, from infections. Long-term or extensive injuries may lead to infections that require more serious treatments. Corneal ulcers, which are open sores on the cornea, can result from untreated infections or from extreme cases of dry eyes.

Treatments

Your eye doctor or ophthalmologist may recommend an ointment or drops to moisten your eyes, which should take care of the problem. If your eyes continue to experience significant dryness, ask your doctor for an eye exam if you haven’t already had one. Following the exam, the doctor could suggest a dry eye treatment that will work best with your condition. Some medications or living environments such as a dry climate can contribute to the problem, so let your doctor know about these during the exam. The longer you go without getting your eyes checked, the more difficult it will be to treat the problem, and the more expensive the treatment will be.

Dry eyes is a normal experience shared by many people. However, it can cause problems if left untreated or if it is allowed to become worse. Let your doctor know if you have symptoms of dry eyes so that they can prescribe helpful treatment.

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