Impaired vision and dry eyes

Dry eyes can occur in people with impaired vision, both short- and long-sightedness, if this is not treated. Even if poor eyesight does not directly cause lubrication dysfunction, typical behavioural patterns often lead to the symptoms of dry eyes. Someone who sees badly has to strain their eyes a lot more when reading, writing or driving, so they blink less often which thus causes the tear film to break up. And wearing contact lenses for correcting poor eyesight has a lasting influence on the tear film.

On the other hand, a dry eye can also damage the cornea and therefore encourage the impairment of vision. That is why symptoms like dry eyes should always be taken seriously.

Untreated impaired vision puts a strain on the eyes

You do not always consciously notice a sudden deterioration in eyesight or a worsening of poor vision because such deterioration often occurs gradually. Instead of buying new contact lenses or having the lenses in your glasses adjusted, you tend to adapt your behaviour: in the case of long-sightedness, the book or mobile phone is held further away. In the case of short-sightedness, you screw up your eyes or go a few steps closer in order to be able to decipher small print.

Untreated impaired vision is not only an obstacle in daily life, but also makes the eyes strain a lot and they have to concentrate. When focussing, for example on a monitor, the television or in the street, we usually blink less frequently than is good for the eyes. This means that the lacrimal fluid is not spread enough across the surface of the eye and the tear film can break up. Dry eyes are the result.

Contact lenses can have an influence on the tear film

Those who wish to compensate for poor eyesight with contact lenses also run the risk of having deteriorating tear lubrication because the lenses restrict the distribution of the lacrimal fluid across the eye and in addition irritate the cornea. Those who have problems with dry eyes should therefore normally wear glasses and only wear contact lenses on special occasions.

Dry eyes can have an influence on eyesight

Impaired vision and dry eyes are interdependent: not only does poor eyesight lead to dry eyes, but untreated lubrication dysfunctions can also lead to poor eyesight.

The first symptoms of a ruptured tear film are reddening of the eye, itching or burning as well as the sensation of having a foreign body in the eye. If these symptoms keep recurring and you do not treat them, it can lead to chronic dry eyes and consequential damage, depending on what the cause is.

If the tear film keeps breaking up, it can lead to permanent defects in the cornea. The dryness leads to damage of the upper layer of cells, which then clouds over and scars. This can be painful and seriously impair vision.

Moreover, the lack of lacrimal fluid can lead to small blood vessels growing into the cornea. These can also permanently impair vision.

On top of that, the eyes also become over-sensitive to pathogens. Without the protective, antimicrobial tear film, the eyes can be more easily infected by bacteria and viruses. Corneal inflammation can possibly lead to severe damage of the eye and to impaired vision.

That is why dry eyes should always be taken seriously and something done to treat them. Lubricating eye drops stabilise the tear film and protect the eye against dryness. In cases where problems keep recurring, you should definitely consult a doctor and have your eyes tested for impaired vision.

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