Feel like you should purchase stock in eye drops? Do your eyes feel like they’re squeaking around in dry sockets? We understand. Dry eyes affect everyone at some point, but for some, chronic dry eyes can lead to other vision problems.
The eye care un-caped crusaders at Stoggles can help. We understand vision protection, and we know a thing or two about eyes that feel dry and dehydrated. We’ll explain what’s causing your eyes to resemble the Sahara and what might help you find relief. So grab your artificial tears and some blue light-blocking lenses, and let’s dive in.
What’s Causing Eye Dryness?
Dry eyes affect everyone from time to time, but when your condition lasts more than two weeks, you might have dry eye disease. This condition can affect anyone, but it is particularly common among the elderly. There’s also another condition, called dry eye syndrome, that might affect the way your eyes stay hydrated.
How the Eye Stays Lubricated
Your eyes stay moisturized with your own natural tears by their release from the tear ducts. When you blink, your eyelids spread the tears evenly across your cornea or the outside layer of your eye.
Tears are important, and not just because they force us to practice vulnerability in a crowded movie theater. They help keep the eye moistened, protect against particles and dirt in the eye by removing them, and help keep the surface of the eye clear so you can see properly.
Extra tears don’t just fall onto our cheeks, either. They get taken up by tiny drains in the corners of the eyes and flushed down your nasal passages into your gut. It seems like the perfect scenario for keeping your eyes healthy, but a lot can go wrong with tear production and eyeball lubrication.
Problems With Dry Eyes
When you experience eye dryness, you’re experiencing an issue with your tears. There can be several malfunctions.
- You don’t make enough tears. Most people make plenty of tears to support their eye health, but sometimes tear production slows down, especially as you age. In fact, by age 40, your tear production begins to decline more and more with each decade of your life.
Fewer tears can lead to dry eyes, which is why dry eye conditions are experienced more with people over age 40 than they are with children or people in their 20s or 30s.
- Low-quality tears. We don’t mean to sound offensive, but your tears might be subpar. Tears are made up of oil, water, and mucus. If one of those components is missing, the ability of the tear to cover the surface of the eye will naturally be reduced.
An eye doctor can test the quality of your tears and find out if low tear quality is what’s causing you to experience symptoms of dry eye.
We know that the underlying issue of dry eyes has to do with the tears, but what are the causes of low tear production or low-quality tears? There are a few reasons.
Causes of Dry Eyes
Sometimes you can check all the boxes and still wind up with eyes that feel dry and itchy. Here’s a look at the top four reasons you might experience dry eyes.
1. Environmental Conditions
If the air is incredibly dry or if you are indoors near a heating or air conditioner, you might experience dry eyes. The environment can wick away your tears, leaving your eyes feeling dry and parched.
Using a humidifier indoors during periods of a dry climate or extreme heat can help keep your eyes better lubricated.
2. Medical Conditions
Numerous health conditions are linked with dry eyes. Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disorder, attacks the glands that produce tears and can lead to dry eyes and dry mouth. Life events like menopause or pregnancy may be underlying causes of dry eyes — thanks, hormones.
Sometimes your eyes can cause eye dryness … well, kind of. Eye surgeries like PRK or LASIK or lifestyle habits like wearing contact lenses for too long can dry your eyes out.
Certain medications, like antihistamines and certain antidepressants, also carry possible dry eye side effects. Even some medications used to treat high blood pressure can cause dry eyes. If you experience dry eyes after starting a new medication, talk to your doctor or optometrist about whether or not the two conditions could be linked.
3. Screen Time
It’s true. Sitting behind a computer screen for hours on end (or staring at video games, the television, or your smartphone) can lead to dry eyes. Why? It’s pretty simple: we blink less. In fact, we blink 66% less, according to studies.
Blinking less means less tear film that coats our eyeballs and (you guessed it) more occurrences of dry eyes. If you experience this on a regular basis, you might be experiencing Computer Vision Syndrome, a condition characterized by blurry vision, dry eyes, eye strain, and even headaches from sitting behind a screen for long periods of time.
4. Eye Infections
While some eye ailments can lead to watery eyes, some infections can cause dryness. Blepharitis, for instance, can start by causing watery eyes, but if left untreated, it can lead to extreme dryness.
There can be other reasons you might experience dry eyes, but these are the most common.
Effects of Dry Eyes
It might just seem like an easy fix. Your eyes are dry, you grab some over-the-counter eye drops and give them a few squirts. Sometimes that works. However, persistent dryness can lead to eye surface changes and negatively impact eye health.
When you don’t produce enough tears to fully lubricate your eyes and remove debris, it’s possible that those particles can actually scratch your cornea, causing corneal abrasions. These typically feel like you have grit or sand in your eye and can take weeks to heal.
Both watery eyes and dry eyes can impact your vision because the surface of your eye isn’t healthy. When the surface of the eye is dry or overly filled with tears, your vision may become blurry.
Blurry vision associated with dry eyes may have you thinking you need new glasses, but your eye doctor can quickly assess your situation and help you decide whether you need new corrective lenses or just a solution for keeping your eyes lubricated.
How To Practice Good Eye Health
Keeping your eyes healthy is a multifaceted endeavor. It’s more than just popping on sunglasses when you’re outside or using artificial tears when your eyes feel dry. Just like taking care of your body, you’ll have to be a bit more intentional with your efforts.
Meet Your Eye Doctor
You know that eye care benefit that comes along with your medical insurance? Use it! Even if you don’t need glasses or have (what you think) is 20/20 vision, regular eye exams are important for keeping your eyes healthy.
Getting your eyes checked can help prevent a decline in your eye health and can help you identify eye conditions that could be detrimental to your vision early, so you can treat them.
Practice the 20-20-20 Rule
We’re behind screens a lot. Taking adequate breaks can help us avoid dry eyes and Computer Vision Syndrome. The next time you’re scrolling your feed or reading articles about eyecare on your tablet, practice the 20-20-20 rule.
For every 20 minutes of screen time, take a 20-second break to look at something 20 feet away from you. This helps reduce the amount of eye fatigue you will experience, and will also encourage you to blink more, so your eyes don’t become dry.
Protect Your Eyes With Proper Eyewear
Safety glasses aren’t just for construction workers. Today’s safety eyewear comes with some pretty impressive features, like blue light-blocking technology to keep you safe while you scroll. At Stoggles, we want everyone to experience healthy vision for decades, which is why we custom fit every pair of our Stoggles with some seriously protective features.
Stoggles are a hybrid eyewear that combines the aesthetic aspects you love about your regular glasses and sunglasses with the functionality and protection you need. Here’s what you’ll find in every pair:
ANSI Certified Impact Resistance
The ANSI Z87.1-2020 certification is the gold standard for impact resistance. Eyewear that has this certification has undergone tests to ensure impact resistance against weighted blunt force impact and high-speed impact. The ANSI and OSHA want to help prevent vision loss, and their standards are pretty darn high (thankfully).
To pass the test, the eyewear can’t shatter. Stoggles are all outfitted with this certification because safety glasses shouldn’t cause more of a danger to your eyes by shattering them into fragments that could harm your eyes and rob you of your vision. (Obvs.)
Fogging glasses are more than just annoying; they’re unsafe. When you remove your eyewear to wipe away condensation, your eyes are no longer protected from the hazards in your environment. Not to mention, taking time to remove your glasses and wipe them down takes you off-task, which can result in mistakes, accidents, and shoddy work.
Stoggles offer a long-term solution for fogging by coating our lenses with our unique anti-fog dipping solution at the time of manufacture. No anti-fog treatment is permanent, but this long-lasting method is better than anti-fog spray treatments (patchy and weak) and drops.
Side and Top Shields
What do you need to protect those vulnerable areas around the sides and top of your eyeglass lenses? Side and top shields. Streamlined and effective, these offer 360 degrees of protection against splashes, splatters, and flying objects.
Sunglasses are awesome for a sunny day at the beach, but what about those dark and stormy nights or cloudy days or inside every building ever? Wearing sunglasses inside when you’re Keanu Reeves in the Matrix is totally badass. But if you try this in real life while typing at work, it’s a bit odd. You need clear vision.
Stoggles are made with a lightweight polycarbonate material that is naturally UV-blocking to keep your eyes safe, whether you are exposed to UV radiation outdoors or inside, with zero tinting. This means you can protect your eyes from UV exposure, even on cloudy days.
Blue Light-Blocking Filters
Sitting in front of screens can lead to dry eyes, and one reason is exposure to blue light. Blue light emitted from screens penetrates the eyes and reaches the retina. Fight back with blue light-blocking lenses like the ones in every pair of Stoggles.
Blue light-blocking lenses filter out harmful blue light and keep your eyes safe. Hopefully, they save you some cash on eye drops or other supplements, too.
Blurry vision isn’t normal, and yours might be caused by dry eyes. It’s worth your time to visit an eye doctor and find out the root source of your eye’s drought. Then, grab a pair (or two) of Stoggles. Stoggles help protect your eyes from external stressors and come in frames and colors you’ll actually want to wear.
Ditch the dryness, except when it comes to your humor. Stoggles keep your eyes protected and your style impeccable.