When you wear contacts, do your eyes feel gritty and dry? Are your eyes red and irritated most of the time?
These are some of the signs of dry eye. Understanding when you want to treat your dry eye is up to you and how it impacts your life. Keep reading for some of the signs to know if you have dry eye!
What Does It Mean To Have Dry Eye?
When people have dry eye, part of the problem is having eyes that are uncomfortable. Some people describe it as feeling like their eyes are burning or stinging.
Dry eye can be connected to environments like flying on a plane, being around air conditioning or heaters, and looking at screens too much. It is important to understand the causes and symptoms of dry eye, so you can prevent it.
What Are The Different Symptoms Of Dry Eye?
Dry eye has a variety of symptoms that people can experience. The most common ones include:
- Red eyes
- Having blurry vision
- Having eyes that feel gritty
- Feeling like there is something in your eye
- Itchy eyes
- Experiencing light sensitivity
Another common symptom that some patients experience is the over-production of tears. This happens because of the lack of moisture in the eyes.
When the eyes are dry, they overcompensate by making too many low-quality tears. When your eyes feel this way, it sends a signal to the brain to increase lubrication.
This results in the creation of more low-quality tears. Part of what makes them low-quality are these tears are made up of primarily water.
Healthy tears should actually be made up of three things: water, oil, and mucous. Tears that are mostly water will not cover the surface of the eye as they should. This can then result in symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
What Are The Causes Of Dry Eye?
People can develop dry eye for many reasons. For some patients, it is due to a problem with the tear production system.
For others, it can occur because of environmental conditions. For example, being near an air conditioner or heater, strong winds, dry air, and blowing smoke.
Other causes include:
- Prescription drug side effects, like from antihistamines
- Inflammatory skin and eyelid diseases
- Diseases affecting tear production like Rheumatoid Arthritis and Sjogren’s Syndrome
- A temporary side effect after having LASIK eye surgery
What Puts You At Risk For Dry Eye?
- Using screens too long can cause dry eye. When you look at screens for too long, it results in a reduction in blink rate. This affects tear production.
- Wearing contact lenses.
- Flying frequently puts people at risk for developing dry eye because of dry air in the plane’s cabin.
- The smoke from smoking can irritate the eyes, causing dry eyes.
What Are The Different Treatments For Dry Eye?
Common treatments for dry eye include:
Artificial tears are great for minor cases of dry eye when you need to put moisture back into your eyes. They can be especially helpful for tasks like reading, using a computer, or driving. Talk to your doctor about what product to use.
Prescription Eye Drops
If treating your dry eye on your own doesn’t help, you may need to talk to your doctor about prescription options. Common prescription eye drops for dry eye include Xiidra or Restasis. Discuss these options with your doctor and if one of these may be right for you.
Steroid Eye Drops
If you have inflammation with your dry eye, you may need a steroid eye drop. Talk to your doctor about if a steroid eye drop may be a necessary component for treating your dry eyes.
Is it time to treat your dry eyes? Getting your dry eye under control will improve your quality of life. Schedule an appointment at Digby Eye Associates in Greensboro, NC!