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Can Dry Eyes Cause Blindness? Exploring the Facts

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Written by- Gina Walters
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Dry eye is one of the most prevalent eye disorders, especially in individuals over 50.

However, anyone can experience the painful symptoms of dry eyes, such as soreness, itching, and discomfort. 

The severity of dry eye symptoms might vary depending on eye care and health. 

Symptoms of dry eye are usually temporary and may diminish with time but may not go away completely. 

Generally, dry eye is not a major problem and can be treated effectively. 

Still, in certain situations, if left untreated, dry eye can lead to significant problems, including partial or complete blindness. 

This article will discover the answer to: Can dry eyes cause blindness? 

Also, we will explore the circumstances in which dry eye might result in blindness and possible treatments.

Can dry eye cause blindness

Most of the time, dry eyes is not severe enough to cause permanent blindness or vision loss. 

The sooner a patient gets medical attention and therapy, the more effectively the dry eye condition can be managed.

However, in some rare situations, the severe dry eye might result in blindness due to corneal damage. 

Scarring from corneal injury may result in partial or total blindness, which in certain situations may be irreversible.

Dry eyes occur when the tears that keep our eyes hydrated are either of poor quality or not enough to maintain the health of our eyes. 

Even dehydration can lead to Dry Eyes symptoms such as eye pain, discomfort, blurry vision, and potentially irreversible damage to the surface of the eye.  

Lifestyle choices, medications, and certain environmental factors are the potential causes of dry eye.

Although dry eye may not appear harmful, it can have major long-term complications if left untreated.

Eye inflammation and corneal ulcers may arise due to a lack of early diagnosis and proper treatment.

Suggestion:
If you are concerned about your dry eyes, consult a healthcare expert immediately to prevent your eyesight from further damage.

Prolonged inflammation and irritation can affect your tear films that damage the cornea, the part of the eye that lets light in.

Damage to the cornea is the most common cause of blindness. 

Corneal scarring may occur due to corneal scratches, ulcers, and eye infections

This, in turn, results in permanent blindness.

To remove scar tissue and reduce inflammation, your eye doctor may advise surgery or prescribe medications. 

With appropriate care and treatment, many individuals may live better lives without facing the risk of becoming blind. 

Want to know more about Dry Eye Allergy? Read our article: Understanding Dry Eye Allergy: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

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Preventing dry eye-induced blindness

Usually, the treatment of dry eye depends on the underlying cause.

Medications and lifestyle changes are the most commonly employed methods to overcome dry eye symptoms.

Medications

dry eyes medicationSource: SimpleFoto
Dr. applying eye drop in patient eye

Several over-the-counter and prescription medications are available to cure dry eyes and its consequences.

Artificial tears are the most popular form of eye drops used to treat moderate dry eye. 

These eye drops are available over-the-counter without a doctor’s prescription. 

Also, there are over-the-counter moisturizing ointments and gels that could improve the health of your eyes.

Apart from this, your eye doctor may prescribe medications, such as Cyclosporine or Lifitegrast, if your dry eye condition is more severe. 

Both of these eye drops might increase the production of tears in your eyes.

In most severe cases, your doctor may perform eyelid surgery if your dry eye occurs due to conditions such as Ectropion.

It is an eye condition where your eyelids turn outward.

Explore the various Dry Eye supplements used to treat the condition with our article: The Ultimate Guide to Supplements for Dry Eyes

Warning:
Regular use of contact lenses may lead to dry eyes. Prevent dry eyes caused by contact lenses with proper care and switching the lenses at regular intervals.

Lifestyle changes

If any environmental factors or lifestyle choices are the cause of your dry eye, then your doctor may suggest the following ways to prevent your eyes and vision:

  • To keep the air moist, use a humidifier on a regular basis, particularly on windy and dry days 
  • Blink frequently
  • Use tear plugs to hold tears in the eye and stop them from emptying
  • Stay away from direct wind, smoke, and air conditioning
  • When outside, put on a pair of sunglasses with a rim
  • Drink a lot of water
  • Have adequate sleep

Dry eyes can be cured naturally. Read our article: Know the Best Home Remedies for Dry Eyes to discover effective homemade solutions for dry eyes.

Conclusion

Many people experiencing dry eyes often question, “Can dry eyes cause blindness?”

The answer to this question is no.

Generally, dry eyes do not directly lead to blindness.

However, in some extreme cases, dry eye can result in permanent blindness if left untreated.

Corneal damage due to inflammation and corneal ulcers induced by dry eye can lead to blindness.

Hence, in order to identify the underlying reason and suggest a course of action, it is essential that the issue be evaluated as soon as possible. 

Early detection and efficient treatment are the best defense against potential vision loss due to dry eye.

Your doctor may suggest dry eye medications and lifestyle modifications to treat the condition.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can dry eyes return to their normal condition?

No, dry eyes can not be returned to their normal condition. 

However, with treatment, the symptoms could become better over time, but they might never vanish completely.

How can one treat dry eyes?

Regularly wiping your eyelids and using eye drops or other lubricating products may help you manage your dry eyes.

Can dry eyes cause you to lose your vision?

Severe dry eye might potentially result in blindness due to corneal damage, although this is extremely rare. 

Scarring from corneal injury may result in partial or total blindness, which in certain situations may be irreversible.

How long does it take for dry eyes to cause blindness?

Dry eye is a prevalent eye condition that can be uncomfortable and, if ignored, may result in several complications. 

However, usually, it does not result in blindness immediately. 

Rather, it may affect your eye health and vision in several ways, including blurred vision and corneal damage.

How can I improve my vision with dry eyes?

Limiting screen time, avoiding smoking and caffeine, and drinking plenty of water can all help prevent vision from dry eyes.

Citations:
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