It’s Valentine’s Day, the holiday of love and affection. But what if you lost the ability to see those special people in your life? Instead of just focusing on what gift to buy for your sweetheart, dedicate some time to boosting your eye health. One of the most common threats to healthy vision is dry eye, a chronic condition that affects over 30 million Americans. Often misdiagnosed as eye allergies or eye sensitivity, dry eye can be irritating, itching and even painful. Other symptoms of dry eye include:
- Gritty or scratchy feeling
- Difficulty reading
- Watery eyes
- Blurred vision
Almost everyone can relate to experiencing some of these symptoms periodically, but chronic dry eye is not related to seasons of the year or illness. Instead, it is a progressive condition that continues to advance. The good news is that dry eye can usually be managed successfully, resulting in greater eye comfort and sometimes better vision.
There are several types of treatments for dry eye, so you should talk to your doctor before beginning any over-the-counter medications or remedies. A thorough, comprehensive eye exam is necessary to diagnose dry eye and prescribe the best course of treatment. Some treatments may include artificial tears, warm compresses, nutritional supplements, prescription eye drops, or pulsed light. In other instances, you can alter your daily habits to get relief. Removing eye makeup, taking regular breaks from the computer or deliberately blinking more often may help your eyes retain moisture and feel comfortable. Talk to your ophthalmologist about dry eye and get advice for prevention and treatment (Source: Health).