Dry Eye Statistics and Facts
Having dry, itchy eyes is never enjoyable. Sometimes it’s just a temporary issue, but some people suffer from frequent bouts of dry eye that require professional attention. Dr. Daniel J. Tepper and the Wicker Park Eye Center team offers advanced dry eye treatment and tips for prevention and management. These can all go a long way toward combatting redness, itchiness, and discomfort.
We’d like to take a few movements to consider some facts and figures about dry eye. This information should give you a new perceptive about the condition, and a better understanding of what goes into treating the condition. People in the Chicago, IL area can visit our practice for more information on treating dry eye.
Dry Eye Statistics
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), dry eye affects 3.2 million women over the age 50 and 1.68 million men over the age of 50. Yet the prevalence of dry eye may be even greater than these official numbers.
Some online polls have shown that 48 percent of all people age 18 and over suffer from some symptoms of dry eye in varying degrees. A Gallup poll from 2012 suggests that around 26 million Americans suffer from dry eye in some form.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye
The most common signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
- Lack of moisture when blinking
- Itchy eyes
- Burning eyes
- Sore eyes
- Red eyes
- Eyestrain/eye fatigue
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurry or hazy vision
It is also possible for your eyes to tear up during a dry eye attack. As antithetical as it sounds, it’s true. While your eyes may produce tears to address irritation, these tears may not remain long enough to give the eyes the moisture they desperately need.
How Screens Can Lead to Dry Eye Issues
We look at screens a lot in modern life, whether it’s a laptop, a smartphone, or a tablet. When staring at screens for a long period of time, we wind up blinking less frequently. This can result in greater instances of dry eye.
If you look at screens for long periods of time, be sure to look away from the screen periodically for 20 to 30 seconds in order to rest your eyes. Some people follow a 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, they look away from the screen at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You’d be surprised the difference this can make.
Risk Factors for Dry Eye
Some other common risk factors for dry eye include the following:
- Age - Dry eye becomes more of an issue for people after the age of 50. That said, dry eye can affect people of all ages.
- Gender - As you can see from the statistics above, dry eye tends to affect women more often than men. Part of the reason for this is that dry eye becomes more common after a woman goes through menopause.
- Smoking - Smoking is linked to many health problems and vision issues. Dry eye is just one of them. Consider this another great reason to kick the habit for good.
- Low-Humidity - If you are in a dry room or environment for long periods of time, this can potentially lead to dry eye.
- Frequent Air Travel - On the note of low humidity, the dry, recycled air of a plane can cause you to experience dry eye attacks if you fly a lot.
- Wearing Contacts - While not everyone who wears contacts suffers from dry eye, they can trigger bouts of dry eye and discomfort.
- Use of Certain Medications - Certain kinds of medications can make dry eye attacks more likely, such as antihistamines, blood pressure medication, birth control, and antidepressants.
Learn More About Dry Eye
If you would like to learn more about treating dry eye and how it can be managed and prevented, be sure to contact our experienced eye doctor and vision specialists. The team at Wicker Park Eye Center is here to help. You can reach our office by phone at (224) 263-9431.