Your age does matter when it comes to dry eyes.
A growing number of young people are suffering from dry eye disease (DED) than they were 40 years ago. Dry eye syndrome and chronic dry eyes are a growing concern for working age groups who regularly spend prolonged hours on the computer. Many computer workers and students opt for anti-reflective coating to reduce glare at the opticians to help protect their eyes. It is not just the young generation, though! Before computers were readily available in the home and, of course, excessive computer use, older generations are now suffering from dry eye in later life. It is common for people in the early to mid 40’s to experience eyesight problems, such as not seeing clearly at close distances, especially reading and working on the computer, which usually develops between 41 to 60 years old. It has been found to increase with age from the 4th to 8th decade of life and is more prevalent in women than men throughout this period due to hormonal changes.
A study in Japan, “The Features of Dry Eye Disease in a Japanese Elderly Population” determined a total of 73.5% of 113 pensioners had shown definite dry eyes. Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) being the most common associate of tear film disorder and dry eye status. In the United States, it is estimated over 30 million people in the U.S. alone, with almost half of the population experiencing dry eye symptoms regularly. However, a study suggests According to the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence in the UK, it is reported that 15-33% of the population aged 65 years or over have definite DED and 20% of people with dry eye have a severe form. It is likely dry eye statistics of dry eye in the elderly are underestimated as people with mild or moderate symptoms, as well as lower socioeconomic groups, may not report the condition to their doctor.
Age is a big factor when it comes to health, especially eyes. For example, normal change in the eye’s focusing ability, presbyopia, continues to progress over time. As women reach menopause, the body goes through hormonal and physical changes, such as thinning of hair. These things are inevitable and part of life. However, diseases are usually manageable and sometimes can be cured- like how we are now seeing with AIDS. It is important to take preventive steps to combat conditions like dry eye disease sooner rather than later as it is easier to manage and can prevent serious issues down the line. Good quality eye drops, gels, ointments or allergy medicines should be used when experiencing dry eyes.