The condition of dry eyes is chronic and progressive. Depending on its cause and severity, it may not even be curable in some people. It can be managed, resulting in eye comfort, sharper vision, and fewer dry eye symptoms.
Dry eyes occur when tears are not able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes either because they do not produce enough of them or because they are of poor quality. Dry eyes is often caused by dry environments, computer use, reading, schoolwork, and other close viewing situations that require focus for lengthy periods of time. In this way, you may only experience dry eyes in certain situations/ environments such as on airplanes, in air-conditioned rooms, riding bikes, or looking at screens.
Different things cause different dry eye symptoms. Environmental stressors such as wind, smoke, and dry air can be causes of increased tear evaporation whereas decreased or poor quality tear production can be caused by aging, medical conditions, side effects of medications, and/or tear duct damage from inflammation.
If you experience dry eyes, you may feel:
– Stinging or burning sensations
– Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
– Sensitivity to light
– Eye redness
– Sensation of having something in your eyes
– Difficulty wearing contact lenses
– Difficulty driving at night
– Watery eyes (the body’s response to irritation of dry eyes, different from tear production)
– Blurred vision or eye fatigue
– Itchy eyes
– Heavy eyes
– Sore eyes
You can prevent the symptoms of dry eyes by:
– Avoid air blowing into your eyes
– Adding moisture to the air
– Wearing wraparound sunglasses or other protective eyewear
– Taking breaks during long, focused tasks
– Being aware of your environment
– Positioning your computer screen below eye level
– Stop smoking and avoid smoke
– Use artificial tears regularly
When To See a Doctor
See a doctor if you are suffering from these dry eye symptoms and experiencing extreme discomfort and pain. Your optometrist can help you determine the best way to fix your dry eye problem and/or refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Don’t struggle through the discomfort of dry eyes. This article and your optometrist can help you understand the condition better in order to get appropriate treatment. If you are looking for an Eye Clinic that prioritizes eye health, call us at one of our locations to book an appointment and we’ll be happy to assist you.