|Monday, 09 October 2006 17:45|
Dry eyes and allergy eyes have similar symptoms – irritation, redness, a feeling that something is in your eye – and as a result are often confused. However, these two conditions have different causes and require different treatments in order to get relief.
If you think you may have dry eye disease or eye allergies, it’s important to not ignore what you’re experiencing, but to determine your specific symptoms and to talk with your eye care professional about them. Your eye care professional can give you an appropriate diagnosis and determine what course of treatment is best for you. And remember to schedule routine eye examinations to maintain eye health.
0.1. Dry Eye Disease
More Than the Amount of Tears
Dry eye disease affects millions of Americans – making it one of the most common reasons for visits to eye care professionals.
Contrary to popular belief, dry eye is not simply a problem of a reduced amount or lack of tears. The main functions of tears are to lubricate the eyes and protect them from bacteria and environmental irritants such as dust. This requires both the right amount of tears and a balance of the many components that make up tears. Without the right quantity or quality of tears, dry eye disease may develop.
If left untreated, severe forms of dry eye can result in impaired vision or damage to the eye’s surface.
The Menopause Connection
Many women recognize hot flashes and night sweats as symptoms of menopause, but don’t realize that there’s another common symptom they might not be aware of – dry eyes.
Dry eye during menopause is partially caused by declining estrogen levels that often result in less fluid production in many parts of the body including the eyes, vagina, mouth and nose. In fact, a menopausal woman’s amount of tears can decrease by as much as 60 percent, as compared to the amount produced at age 18.
A Closer Look at Dry Eye
Dry eye begins when the surface of the eye becomes irritated (partially caused by a decrease in fluid production in the eyes due to hormonal changes caused by menopause, etc.). This eventually results in “abnormal” tears – either not enough tears and/or tears that are not the right quality to protect and lubricate the eye. Dry eye can also be caused or aggravated by a number of external factors such as sun, wind, computer use, heating and air conditioning.
0.2. Eye Allergies
What’s Making You Tear and Itch?
Eye allergies can also play a large role in the occurrence of eye irritation. More than 20 percent of the U.S. population suffers from allergies, and 90 percent of these patients suffer from eye allergy symptoms. Eye allergies can affect concentration and cause blurred vision, making everyday tasks such as reading, writing or even driving difficult.
A Closer Look at Eye Allergies
An eye allergy is an allergic response (or increased sensitivity) to allergens in your environment that cause symptoms such as itchy, swollen eyes. These allergens may be seasonal (for example, pollen from trees, flowers, and grasses), or they may be found in common substances (e.g., pet dander, cosmetics, mold, and pollution) to which many people react year-round. The medical name for an eye allergic reaction is allergic conjunctivitis.
Allergies Can Come or Go Suddenly
Allergies can stop or start at any point of your life. Even if you grew up living with a cat, you could develop an allergy to cat dander in your 20s, etc.
0.3. Symptoms of Dry Eye and Eye AllergiesMake a List of Your Symptoms to Take to Your Eye Care Professional
Environmental factors play a significant role in both dry eye and eye allergies.
0.4. Prevention and Treatment Options for Dry Eyes
0.5. Prevention and Treatment Options for Eye Allergies
Wash your hands, face, and hair frequently to rid them of allergens
Use air filters indoors and vacuum regularly
Avoid outdoor environments when the pollen count is high
Close windows and doors to keep allergens out.
|Last Updated on Friday, 28 October 2011 15:16|