Dry Eyes: Symptoms, Causes, And Help

Dry eyes are not only uncomfortable, but they can also affect your vision by causing blurriness and trouble with night vision. Also, excessively dry eyes make your eyes more prone to infection. This condition is caused by a variety of health issues, and the discomfort can be alleviated in a number of ways. Here is more information about the symptoms and causes of dry eyes and how your eye doctor can help.

What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes manifest themselves differently between different people. Common dry eye signs that include feeling like something is in your eye, "sticking" or uncomfortable contact lenses, light sensitivity, and excessive redness in your eyes. However, not all dry eye conditions have dry eyes; excessive eye watering is also a sign of a dry eye condition.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

A variety of conditions and activities cause dry eyes including age, medications, and medical conditions such as diabetes. If you've recently had laser eye surgery, then your eyes may temporarily dry out but should return to normal after your eyes heal. Certain procedures, such as radiation therapy, can damage the tear ducts and cause the condition. Even sitting at a computer all day can cause your eyes to dry out. This is because most people do not blink as much as they should when staring at a screen.

Can Dry Eyes Be Prevented?

If you are staring at a computer all day, try to be conscious of your blinking and take a break from the screen regularly. You can also try lowering your screen to below eye level to avoid opening your eyes wider and increasing the chance that they dry out. Guard your eyes against blowing air and try running a humidifier inside your home or at your workplace, if possible.

How Can an Eye Doctor Help With Dry Eyes?

If your eyes are otherwise healthy, then your eye doctor may suggest or prescribe artificial tears or medicated eye drops. If the problem is caused by inflammation, then medications and techniques dedicated to reducing this inflammation are available. In some cases, blocking the tear ducts with special silicone plugs may help to slow down or reduce the rate of tear drainage.

Dry eyes are not only uncomfortable and irritating, but they could result in serious eye problems if you don't take care of this condition. You should see an optometrist regularly for a vision and eye health checkup even if you don't need vision correction. Make sure you mention any type of discomfort with your eyes or vision problems. That way, your eye doctor can correct conditions like dry eyes early and rule out more serious vision problems.