Dry eyes are a common condition. Many people consider it more of an annoyance than a serious eye health problem. However, if you do suffer from this condition, you should discuss it with your eye doctor. Here is why it is so important to treat your dry eyes.
You Need Tears for Healthy Eyes
Your eyes rely on tears to provide the nutrients and oxygen that your corneas need to be healthy. Tears also cleanse your eyes and wash away germs and dust from your eyes. Without a healthy tear film, your vision may not be as crisp as it could be. Tears help keep your cornea clear and smooth, which is crucial to allowing light to properly entering your eyes.
You may have dry eyes if you frequently experience:
- Excessive eye watering
- Eye fatigue
- Blurred vision
- Burning or gritty feeling in your eye(s)
Dry Eyes Can Lead to Serious Cornea Conditions
If you ignore your chronic eye dryness, your risk increases for developing two cornea conditions, corneal ulcers and corneal abrasions.
Corneal ulcers are open sores on the cornea that can be caused from corneal inflammation from dry eyes. Bacteria can get into these ulcers and cause an infection. Signs that you might have a corneal ulcer include:
- Severe eye pain
- Excess watering
- Pus or other discharge
- Redness and swelling
- Gritty feeling in your eye
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
If you experience such symptoms, it is important to contact your eye doctor immediately to prevent scarring and permanent vision loss.
A corneal abrasion is an injury that damages the top layer of cells on the surface of the surface. It can be caused by vigorous rubbing of your eyes or from a foreign object like dust. A lack of tears can make your eyes itchy. It will also prevent debris from being washed from your eyes. Symptoms of a corneal abrasion are similar to those of a corneal ulcer but may also include having a headache.
Do not let dry eyes jeopardize your eye health. Contact Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 to make an appointment with one of our eye doctors.