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Dry Eye Starts Younger Than You Think

Dry eye syndrome once presented strict demographic characteristics. Many eye doctors could identify patients with this condition by simply glancing around their waiting rooms. They could also identify them in the exam.


Traditionally, symptoms of dry eye were more common in people aged 40 years and above. Autoimmune disease, diabetes, prior eye surgery, and a laundry list of medications made older adults more predisposed to dry eye disease. Identifying patients with dry eye syndrome was quite straightforward. However, treating this condition was never easy.


Dry Eye Syndrome Today


Nowadays, dry eye syndrome can hide in plain sight. Dry eye patients can be men, women, old, young, healthy, or unhealthy. Dry eye disease has evolved a multifactorial nature. This, coupled with the demographic shift, adds to its complexity. According to a survey conducted a few years ago, 92 percent of eye care providers blamed modern technology for the increase of dry eye patients.


The Increase of Dry Eye Symptoms Among Young Patients


Dry eye syndrome can develop earlier than most people think. According to the survey mentioned above, about 76 percent of eye care professionals polled reported a significant increase in symptoms of dry eye among patients between 18 and 34 years old.


This may be due to the modern multiscreen lifestyle. But whatever the reason, the increase in dry eye disease among teens and younger adults is a cause for concern and action for eye doctors.


How Early Can Dry Eye Syndrome Strike?


Nowadays, eye doctors are diagnosing dry eye syndrome more than ever before. This may be due to an increased awareness of the condition, modern screen-saturated lifestyles, or a combination of both. Whatever the reason, there is an increase in dry eye among people in the late teens and twenties.


Diagnosing Dry Eye in Young Patients


You need to understand that people at every stage of life can develop dry eye disease. Sometimes, the clinical signs and symptoms of dry eye among younger patients may be very subtle. This is why many eye doctors today include dry eye disease on their checklist of differential diagnoses when examining both young and old patients.


Dry Eye in Kids


Most people do not know that symptoms of dry eye can affect kids. Most children may not be able to describe their symptoms. This can make it difficult to diagnose this eye condition. Nevertheless, children can experience dry eye and all its accompanying symptoms.


Dry eye is one of the few eye conditions that can last a lifetime. Most people would not think it possible that an individual in their 70s developed this condition when they were still a child. Some eye care experts believe that the process of dry eye and blepharitis begins in infancy. During the first few months and years of life, a biofilm forms on the eyelids.


Thus, eye care professionals need to seek patients with signs of dry eye even if they are yet to show symptoms. They should address the signs they identify aggressively enough to eradicate them. Essentially, they should treat dry eye diseases like glaucoma more. In other words, instead of relying on symptoms, they should rely on signs to judge the condition’s progression.


To learn more about dry eye syndrome, contact Brandon Eyes at our offices in Middleton or Madison, Wisconsin. You can call (608) 833-7256 or (608) 833-0301 today to schedule an appointment.

A30master none 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Closed Closed (608) 833-0301 608-833-0302 6122 Mineral Point Road
Madison, WI 53705