Tears can be insufficient and unsteady for a variety of reasons. Dry eyes might occur if you don’t generate sufficient tears or if the tears you do produce are of poor quality. Tear instabilities cause inflammation and harm to the layer of your cornea. Dry eyes are unpleasant; your eyes may burn or hurt if you have dry eyes. Dry eyes can occur from a variety of conditions, including on a flight, in an air-conditioned room, when riding a bike, or after a few hours of staring at a computer screen.
Remedies for dry eyes are meant to help you feel better. Lifestyle modifications and eyedrops are examples of these treatments. To manage the symptoms of dry eyes, you’ll likely need to perform these steps for as long as your condition persists–possibly for life.
The following are signs and indications that commonly impact both eyes:
- A burning, scorching, or scratchy feeling in your eyes
- String mucus anywhere around your eyes
- Luminosity (light) sensitivity
- Eye irritation
- A feeling of something being in your eyes
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Driving at night is difficult
- Watery eyes as an immune reaction to the discomfort of dry eyes
- Eye tiredness or blurred vision
When should you see a doctor?
If you’ve experienced persistent indications of dry eyes, such as red, irritated, weary, or painful eyes, see your doctor. Your doctor can help you figure out what’s troubling your eyes or send you to a specialized eye care professional if necessary.
A multitude of factors can impair the healthy tear film, resulting in dry eyes. Fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus make up the three layers of your tear film. This mixture keeps your eyes moisturized, smooth, and clear in most cases. Dry eyes can be caused by issues with any of these layers.
Hormonal changes, autoimmune disease, irritated eyelid glands, and allergic eye disease are all possible causes of tear film malfunction. Dry eyes can be caused by low tear production or excessive tear absorption in some people.
Reduced Tear Production
When your body is unable to create enough water, dry eyes might develop. Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is the medical term for this condition. The following are a frequent causes of reduced tear production:
- Health problems, such as Sjogren’s disease, reactive eye problem, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, graft vs. host illness, sarcoidosis, thyroid disorders, or vitamin A insufficiency
- Medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, hormone treatment, antidepressants, and pharmaceuticals for hypertension, acne, birth control, and Parkinson’s disease
- Corneal nerve desensitivity, often caused by contact lenses, neuronal harm, or laser eye surgical intervention–though the signs of dry eyes associated with this condition are generally only temporary.
Increased Tear Drying
Small ducts on the border of your eyelids create an oil coating that can get stuck. Individuals with rosacea or even other skin conditions are more likely to have blocked meibomian ducts.
The following are likely reasons for excessive tear evaporation:
- Blepharitis posterior
- Blinking less frequently, which is common in certain illnesses like Parkinson’s disease, or while you’re focused on something like reading, driving, or working at a computer
- Eyelid issues such as ectropion and entropion
- Allergies to the eyes
- Topical eye drops that contain preservatives
- Wind, smoke, or a dry atmosphere
- Deficiency in vitamin A
If you experience discomfort in your eyes, schedule a “walk-in contact exam near me” to get checked and ensure you’re using the right strength of prescription eyeglasses.
Now that you know more about the symptoms of dry eyes and how to identify the condition, make sure you schedule a visit with your eye care professional as soon as you notice your eyes feeling consistently dry. It is always better to see a doctor at the earliest indication instead of waiting too long and permitting your condition to deteriorate.