Your ageing parents may have dry eyes. Here’s how to check and what to do

Make sure you seek dry eyes treatment from a specialist rather than depending on home remedies alone, suggests an expert.
Woman with dry eyes
Work towards getting long-term relief from dry eyes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Dr Rajesh Sinha Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 13:09 pm IST
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Ageing brings along many health conditions. Be it your grandparents or your parents, they may not even tell you enough about what they may be going through. But make it your priority to keep a closer eye on their health. With age, a condition called dry eyes can be troublesome for them. While many people resort to home remedies, you must ensure proper dry eyes treatment for your elders after consulting with an expert.

What do you mean by dry eyes?

Dry eyes is a condition when the eyes do not produce tears naturally. In other words, the eyes are not lubricated enough. Tears are important for healthy eyes as they lubricate the eyes, they drain away any foreign particles that may enter the eye and cause irritation.

dry eyes
Your elders may be suffering dry eye syndrome. Help them out. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

The severity of the dry eye condition varies from one person to another. Milder cases of dry eyes are often ignored or treated at home using the ‘known-to-all’ home remedies. If the problem persists, it warrants a visit to an ophthalmologist to avoid any elevated trouble.

Dry eyes do not have a cure, but there are multiple options to manage the symptoms. This can be best done when one visits a specialist.

What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

Dry eyes can present through varied symptoms. Some of these are:

* Discomfort in the eyes
* Experiencing redness in the eye
* Pain
* Itchiness in eyes
* Vision issues such as blurred vision or sensitivity to light
* Pressure on the eyes
* Difficulty in opening the eyes

Some other symptoms of dry eyes include;

* Mucus around the eyes
* Difficulty while driving during the night
* Watery eyes
* Trouble in wearing contact lenses

Also Read: Is WFH or wearing a mask giving you dry eye flares? All you need to know

dry eyes treatment
Itchiness may be common if you have dry eyes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the causes of dry eyes?

There are a number of reasons which lead to dry eyes among individuals. These include:

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* Ageing, especially when one crosses 50 years of age, the eyes tend to get dry.

* Underlying medical conditions such as allergic eye disease, lupus, sarcoidosis, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorders, or vitamin A deficiency, are some of the medical conditions which are known to be the reason behind dry eyes.

* Certain medicines, particularly antihistamines, hormone replacement therapy, antidepressants, decongestants, birth control pills, etc can lead to dry eyes.

* Besides, eye allergies, extreme windy conditions or dry air can also cause dry eyes. If the eyelids turn inward or outward, it can lead to dry eyes.

eye care
Reduce screen time! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What is the best dry eyes treatment?

Home remedies are often the first step for people suffering from dry eyes. Some common home remedies include washing eyelids, resting the eyes (reduce screen time), blinking frequently, using a humidifier, drinking enough water, adding fatty acids and vitamins to the diet, getting more sleep, and even using Over-The-Counter (OTC) eye drops which are essential lubricants.

These remedies are only a temporary solution for immediate relief. It is highly recommended to visit an ophthalmologist for a better solution for dry eyes treatment.

It is highly recommended that one must not ignore the symptoms of dry eyes and leave it untreated. It is critical to visit an ophthalmologist if the condition persists.

Avoiding a visit to the specialist can lead to light sensitivity, blurred vision, and even make the eyes prone to infections in the long run.

Persisting conditions may be an indicator of a more serious underlying condition which needs treatment.

If you or your elders are experiencing any of the above symptoms make that appointment with the doctor immediately to avoid any long-term damage to your eyes!

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About the Author

Dr Rajesh Sinha Professor, Department Of Ophthalmology, Dr Rajendra Prasad Centre for ophthalmic sciences, AIIMS New Delhi ...Read More

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