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Why Do Dry Eyes Occur As We Age?

Dry EyeDry eye syndrome (DES) can occur at any age, but it’s more common in older people. 

As we age and enter our golden years, our metabolism begins to slow down and so does our ability to produce enough high-quality tears to keep our eyes hydrated. Fortunately, there are ways to treat DES to ensure the condition ceases to persist.

Aging Factors That Contribute Towards Dry Eye Syndrome

While it’s possible to develop dry eye syndrome at any age, it’s especially common in people over 50. One of the main reasons is our biology. As we get older, the lacrimal glands secrete fewer tears. At the same time, the meibomian glands can malfunction. The meibomian glands are responsible for producing essential oils and lipids that prevent tears from evaporating. When these glands become clogged or can’t produce enough oil, it dries out the tear film. 

How Is DES Diagnosed?

The only way to effectively treat DES is to know what’s causing it. Is it aging? Dry air? Pollution? Some medications and medical conditions can cause dry eyes or make the symptoms worse. 

To determine the underlying cause of your symptoms, your Midwest Dry Eye Center eye doctor will perform a dry eye examination. They will evaluate the quantity and quality of your tears, take a medical history, and ask when and where you experience dry eye symptoms.  

How Is Dry Eye Treated?

While artificial tears can provide temporary relief, it’s important to treat the root cause of your symptoms. Your eye doctor may recommend over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, as well as in-office treatments. 

Additionally, it’s important to stay לhydrated by drinking less alcohol and more water. Humidifiers help retain moisture in the air while consuming a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can boost your tear film. Lifestyle changes like reducing screen time (we blink less while looking at digital devices) can also help relieve dry eye symptoms.  

Visit Your Dry Eye Optometrist at Midwest Dry Eye Center

Regardless of your age, having a dry eye exam at Midwest Dry Eye Center is the first step toward getting relief from DES. Keep your eyes healthy and strong into your golden years. You’ll see a world of difference when you do.

Our practice serves patients from Long Grove, Kildeer, Buffalo Grove, and Lake Zurich, Illinois and surrounding communities.

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Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 847-383-5852