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Thirty million Americans suffer from dry eye, yet most people go undiagnosed. How is this happening? After a long day of work sifting through papers, staring at the computer, and being on the go, your eyes may feel tired. Most people don’t think, I probably have dry eye disease, I’ll go to the doctor. We often misdiagnose our symptoms for other conditions because of a lack of education. Usually we consider ailments like seasonal allergies, the common cold, or just being drowsy as totally reasonable deductions. But, it is essential that we all understand what the symptoms are so it is not left untreated especially since dry eye can share symptoms with other illnesses. Without treatment you are at risk for infections, cornea disruption, damage to the eye tissue, and vision impairment or even loss of vision. Sounds pretty serious, right?

If you have sensitivity to light, stinging, or burning sensations in your eyes you may have dry eye. You could even have blurred vision right now as you look at the computer and easily misdiagnose yourself with something else. There are simple actions you can take to avoid dry eye or worsening of your condition like avoiding contact lenses, giving your eyes a break from computer and phone screens, and of course – seeing a doctor for treatment. Likewise, wearing quality sunglasses to protect you from harmful UV rays, eating a balanced diet, and keeping a plant nearby to add moisture into the air are all helpful investments for dry eye condition. The health of your eyes could depend on you taking a break from the computer, make sure you build those breaks into your day.
In fact, 48% of people experience one or more of the aforementioned dry eye symptoms regularly. So if you are one of the 42% of women who suffer from blurred vision – you may have dry eye disease. Did you know that 69% of people wait to seek treatment and likely fall into the 2 out of every 5 American adults who report difficulty reading as yet another symptom? This disease can affect every area of your life if left untreated. Unfortunately, over the counter solutions are not a resolution for dry eye disease. A testified 1 out of 5 adults who use over the counter eye drops report needing to use them 5 times per week even though 63% say they do not help. This is clearly the job for a doctor to diagnose and prescribe appropriate medication or treatment. Dry eye disease effects Americans every single day causing them trouble focusing at work especially. Unfortunately, women have reported difficulties using a computer due to dry eye. It’s not worth becoming a statistic like these Americans are.
The crippling effects of dry eye disease are present in our society at home, work, and when we’re on the go as more and more people are having trouble with their vision. Environment factors, computer and phone screens, smoking, improper diet, medications, and contact lenses are all factors in why you may be experiencing the effects of dry eye disease. The best thing you can do for yourself is seek professional treatment from an eye doctor immediately. Don’t risk the health of your eyes and vision simply because you misunderstood your symptoms for allergies or a cold. If you catch yourself in constant need of eye drops, having trouble reading, or always rubbing your eyes then get to a doctor right away. There’s a chance it’s not as serious but why take the risk? If your eye condition is effecting the quality of your life, it’s time to see an eye doctor.

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