What Causes Dry Eyes At Night And How To Treat It?

pointing to eyes

The reasons why dry eyes at night persist depends on many factors like issues on tear production or untreated dry eye syndrome. The root cause of dry eyes is the insufficiency of eye liquid to moisturize the eyes. Persistent dry eye symptoms should not be ignored and must be checked by an eye doctor immediately.


Causes of Dry Eyes

Dry eyes could basically occur at any time of the day, but some people experience eye dryness mostly at night. This eye issue starts when the tear film gets distorted. The tear film is composed of three parts,  aqueous fluid, mucus, and fatty oils. If one of these things malfunctions, dry eyes might follow.

Dry eyes at night happen due to the following reasons:

  1. Nocturnal lagophthalmos. This is a condition that prevents the eye from closing entirely while asleep.
  2. Slow blood circulation at night. When this happens, the nutrients that reach the eyes slowly decrease resulting in eye dryness.

close up dry eyesIn addition to this, severe cases are often caused by profound reasons which include the following:

  • Low tear production. The production of water in the eyes can be affected by aging, medical conditions like eye allergies, lupus, Vit. A deficiency, and thyroid disorders. This is also referred to as dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca). Decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, and medicines for blood pressure regulation also contribute to low tear production. Dry eye syndrome is also caused by excessive use of contact lenses or damages brought by eye laser treatments.
  • Intensified tear evaporation. This is commonly diagnosed in people with skin disorders. Dry eyes will possibly take place when the meibomian glands are obstructed due to tear evaporation. This happens when the patient does not have a normal blinking pattern, suffers from posterior blepharitis, has an uneven eyelid, or is constantly exposed in a dry area.


Signs and Symptoms

Aside from the obvious symptom of dry eyes, you may also want to consider these signs that conclude to dry eye syndrome as well:

  • Burning sensation
  • Thin mucus around the eye
  • Light susceptibility
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Trouble wearing contact lenses
  • Irritated eyes
  • Blurry vision


Treatments for Dry Eyes

Once the root cause of dry eyes is diagnosed, appropriate treatments will be recommended to aid the eye condition and restore the natural moisture of the eye. Over-the-counter eye drops are effective for mild eye dryness, however, if the cause of dry eye is underlying health conditions, medication and medical treatments are highly recommended.

  • For outward or inward eyelids, eye surgery might be suggested to correct the alignment of the eyelid.
  • Medication may also be prescribed according to the symptoms.
    Inflammation- antibiotics formulated to reduce inflammation.
    Cornea inflammation– eye drops that include corticosteroids.
    Low tear production– drugs made for increasing tear production.
    Severe eye dryness– when other medications don’t work for you, eye drops made from your own blood will be formulated especially for you.
  • Reducing tear loss is also an option. This will be done by blocking up your tear ducts.
  • If you are using contact lenses, you might be advised to use a special kind of contact lens that does not cause dryness.
  • Eyelid massages and light therapy are also used as treatments. This method has been proven to be an effective dry eye remedy.


Preventing Dry Eyes

diagnosis and treatmentIf you are experiencing symptoms of dry eye, you might want to take the signs into consideration and perform preventative measures to avoid dry eyes. here are the things that you can do to defy eye dryness:

  1. Use eye drops regularly.
  2. Do not let air have direct contact with your eye. For instance, wear sunglasses if you are going outdoors.
  3. Consider using an air humidifier. This tiny machine has been proven effective in keeping indoor air humid.
  4. Consult your doctor if you are in need of special glasses for dry eyes.
  5. Give it a rest. If you have daily tasks that require a long period of use of your eyes, take a short break from time to time.
  6. Close your eyes for a while if you are in a dry air environment such as desert or high areas.
  7. Place your television or computer screen in below eye level areas.
  8. Avoid smoking. Smoke can greatly contribute to dry eyes.

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