With a booming career on TV, in movies, and her own production company, Jennifer Aniston is undeniably one of Hollywood's most successful actresses.
But Aniston's fans also wish they could be as healthy and happy with their looks as the actress is at age 48. She's known for sharing health and exercise tips, including her daily clean eating plan.
That's why many of the actresses fans will be surprised to learn she's been battling an invisible health condition for years. Even Aniston didn't realize it until just a few months ago, when a doctor diagnosed her with chronic dry eyes.
"A couple of years ago I was doing an interview with Bobbi Brown, the makeup artist, and she asked me if I had a bad habit with anything," Aniston remembers. "As she asked that question I was literally putting an eyedrop in my eye. It was the fifth time in the hour that I used my artificial tears."
But, like most women, Aniston didn't assume her dry eyes were a serious medical problem, even though they were painful and uncomfortable.
"It was so painful and irritating!" she said. "I'd literally be going to a premiere and my eyes would be burning and I'd have to give myself a dose of eye drops before I went down the red carpet. But I just thought that was what my eyes were and I had to live with it."
Now, Aniston is warning other women what to look out for, so they won't have to suffer like she did.
Women are actually more likely to suffer from chronic dry eyes than men, but age and environmental factors also play a part in the condition.
As Aniston learned, if you notice your eyes are constantly irritated, dry, or (ironically) very watery, you can get a simple test at your eye doctor's office.
"[My doctor] did his test that tells you how much water was in your eyes," Aniston said. "Most people are like nine or 10... I was basically a two."
According to EyeLove, a campaign to raise awareness for dry eye that Aniston has teamed up with, 26 million Americans are living with the same condition.
EyeLove says 45% of patients won't even think of asking their doctor about their symptoms, which they say is a mistake.
If you notice your eyes are constantly dry, you should visit a doctor. You can also treat the symptoms in a number of ways:
- Use artificial tears, or prescription eye drops to promote tears.
- Blink more regularly, especially when using the computer.
- Wear sunglasses outdoors.
- Drink more water, and add healthy fatty acids to your diet.
If you're noticing symptoms like Aniston was, don't wait to get your eyes examined!