Do You Have Dry Eyes? - Get Some Relief
Do your eyes often feel dry or irritated? Do certain activities, like reading or working on the computer, make your eyes feel scratchy?
Are you wearing your contact lenses less and less because they become uncomfortable?
If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, you may have what eye care practitioners and doctors call dry eye syndrome. It's a common problem, but you don't have to live with it.
What is it and who gets it?
The term "dry eye" is generally self-explanatory–eyes that aren't fresh, moist and comfortable, however some people complain of watery eyes, which often are what we call dry eye.
The problem affects many people, but women and people who wear contact lenses are particularly susceptible.
The condition is related to the quantity and quality of your tears, which can be affected by numerous factors. Some possible causes include: diseases, such as acne rosacea, hormonal imbalance, eyelid abnormalities, medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants , and exposure to air pollution or other environmental factors.
Your eyes can become dry in centrally heated or air-conditioned rooms and on airplanes. Long stretches working at a computer can dry your eyes because you don't blink as often as normal.
How can you tell if you have chronic dry eyes? Common signs and symptoms include:
- Discomfort: Your eyes burn, sting, feel gritty or are sensitive to light.
- Foreign body sensation: You feel as if you have something in your eye.
- Redness: Bloodshot eyes always indicate a problem. Sometimes, it's dry eye.
- Fatigue: Your eyes seem to tire easily, especially when reading, watching television or using a computer.
- Uncomfortable contact lenses: If you have mild to moderate dry eye, you may not know you have a problem until you try to wear your contact lenses, which can upset the delicate balance of tear production and distribution. People with dry eye sometimes stop wearing their lenses, but they may not need to. Relief is usually available.
Is it dry eye or something else?
If you think you have dry eyes, talk to us. We will ask you specific questions about your health history and your environment. We can perform some simple tests to determine your tear volume and composition.
If redness and irritation are accompanied by itching and watering, allergies may be to blame.