Dry eyes in old age

Any issues related to the sensory organs should be considered as serious ones. Not because the complications it carries but the way these conditions can disrupt the whole day-to-day quality of life. If it happens in the matured adulthood, the discomfort would pile up. Now that’s exactly what happens with dry eyes in old age.

Causing redness at the corner of the eyes or the whole eye along with a sensation of grittiness, the dry eye situation leads to vision-related difficulties, discomfort, pain, and itchiness. There are many reasons for dry eyes and one of them is aging.

The connection between dry eyes and old age

Even though vision-related issues are associated with aging, many elders suffer with dry eyes. Here is how this sicca syndrome occurs in old age.

The anatomy of the eye is so complex and it is a compilation of so many complex structured layers. In a healthy eye the layer of mucous lies beneath the cornea and the conjunctiva providing the much needed nutrients and antigens. And, the tear film protects the eye from the germs, microorganisms and pollutants. 

What happens to eyes in old age?

As a result of old age, changes in the composition of tear film occurs. At the same time, the production of tears gets reduced significantly. Both these conditions can lead to dry eyes.

In addition, the presence of chronic health conditions such as diabetes mellitus, rheumatism, and menopause in women can trigger dry eyes in elderly. Sometimes that imbalance caused by medication use and thyroid issues can also contribute.

The symptoms of dry eyes

Dry eye prevention tips are simple and you can follow them irrespective of your age, symptoms and current condition of your eye health. These tips can be useful for everyone who wants to avoid vision-related issues.

  • Drink plenty of water and blink regularly. Be conscious about the blinking activity no matter whether you are watching the TV, using a mobile or working on a laptop.
  • Avoid going out under a hot sun. If you have to go out, wear sunglasses, drink water and blink frequently
  • Eat green and orange vegetables and fruits on a regular basis. These natural nutrition agents not only prevent your dry eyes but also other eye health issues in seniors.
  • Check with your doctor about the nutritional supplements that enhance your overall eye health.
  • If you are using medications that contain beta blockers, check with your doctor if they could suggest alternatives. Beta blockers usually present in medications used for hypertension and allergies.
  • If you have been suggested with eye lubricants, go for the ones that are free from preservative and phosphates.

Dry eyes are not a serious condition but they can disrupt the quality of living. One of the reasons why assisted living facilities  and other senior living communities employ nursing care attendants who are well trained in dry eye prevention and medication administration.


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