Dry Eye Disease: Fact vs. Myth

Fact vs. Myth

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Having constant dry eyes is normal.

DED can negatively impact both short and long-term health and productivity.

Artificial tears are the only treatments available for DED.

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This is a myth. Here's the fact:

This is a fact.

Our eyes constantly produce tears that move across the surface of the eye, keeping it moist. People who suffer from constant dry eyes may have a medical condition called Dry Eye Disease (DED). This condition leads to discomfort, visual disturbances, and tear film changes that can damage the eyes. People with DED don’t produce enough tears, and/or the tears they do produce evaporate too quickly to keep the eyes moist, leading to inflammation on the surface of the eyes. This often causes a “sandy” or “scratchy” feeling in the eye as well as eyes that are itchy, burning, tired, or sensitive to light. Although DED is more common as we age, and happens more often to females and people who smoke, DED is not “normal” and should be addressed. Check to learn the common symptoms of DED.

Eye irritation and blurred vision are common for people with DED, and can interfere with activities such as computer use, reading, driving, and watching television. This makes it harder for you to do your daily activities and reduces your productivity at work. People with severe DED are also at risk of eye scarring and damage. In addition, compared to those without DED, depression and anxiety were found to be more common in people with DED. Getting the best management of DED is important for your health and well-being, there are different options available.

Artificial tears are useful when used as needed for temporary relief of symptoms of DED by supplementing tear production. However, they do not specifically address the inflammation. In addition to artificial tears, other treatments are available to help you manage DED, such as prescription eye drops, special devices, surgery and more. Addressing DED is important for your health and knowing about your treatment options is an essential step towards that direction.