If you have dry eye disease, you may be tired of the irritating symptoms that come with it. From redness to blurry vision, your eyesight can suffer if you have dry eye disease.
Eye masks are natural, doctor recommended, and clinically proven to treat chronic dry eye, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and blepharitis. Keep reading to learn more about dry eye disease and how eye masks can help manage your symptoms.
What is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry Eye disease occurs when there is an issue with your tear film. Your tears consist of three layers:
- An oily layer produced in your meibomian glands
- A watery (aqueous) layer produced in your lacrimal glands
- A mucous layer made in the conjunctiva of your eye
The Two Types of Dry Eye Disease
Depending on what component of your tear film is affected, it can result in two types of dry eye:
- Evaporative dry eye occurs when there is a lack of the oily layer in your tears. If there is a lack of oil in your tears, your tears may evaporate and dry your eyes out.
- Aqueous deficient dry eye occurs if you lack a proper aqueous layer in your tears. If this happens, your eyes can’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease
Dry eyes can cause any of the following symptoms:
- a gritty, scratchy feeling
- burning or stinging sensation
- feeling like something is in the eye
- excessive watering
- blurry vision
- strings of mucus in or near the eye
- sensitivity to light
Causes of Dry Eye Disease
- Medical procedures
- Windy or dry environments
- Seasonal or chronic allergies
- Certain medications
- Long-term contact lens wear
- Meibomian gland dysfunction
- Prolonged screen use
- Lack of proper hydration
Once your optometrist determines the cause of your dry eye symptoms, they’ll be able to find a suitable treatment option for you, which may include eye masks.
Eye Masks & Dry Eye Disease
Eye masks are an effective treatment option shown to help relieve dry eye symptoms. In fact, in a 2014 study, heated eye masks were shown to be more effective in treating dry eye symptoms caused by MGD and blepharitis compared to other treatment methods.
- Releasing blockages
- Improving eye hydration
- Increasing oil production
- Reducing inflammation
- Trapping moisture in the eye
Types of Eye Masks
There are several types of eye masks a person can choose depending on their needs and preferences:
- Microwave heated eye masks: These masks are heated in the microwave and then placed on the eyes for about 10 minutes
- Self-heating eye masks: These masks don’t require a microwave so they can be used anywhere with similar results
- Sleep masks: These masks are worn at night and work to keep the eyes hydrated by trapping moisture on the eyes
To find the best eye mask for you, book an appointment with your eye doctor! During your appointment, your eye doctor will go over your family and medical history, assess your eye health, and determine your individual needs.
Can I Prevent Dry Eyes?
While there are many dry eye treatments available, you can also take the following steps to prevent dry eyes in the future:
- Avoid dry environments
- Add moisture to the air using a humidifier
- Wear sunglasses & other protective eyewear
- Take eye breaks during long tasks
- Position your computer screen below eye level
- Avoid smoking
If you have any questions or concerns about dry eye disease and its relation to headaches, contact us today!
Get Help With Your Dry Eye
Additionally, if you have any other questions or concerns about dry eye disease and eye masks, please don’t hesitate to call us! We are always happy to help!