Are your eyes constantly itchy? Does it feel like there’s something stuck in your eye? You might brush it off as just allergies or a change in the weather, but there could be another underlying cause: dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, occurs when your eyes are unable to make enough tears or produce poor-quality tears. Keep reading to learn more about this condition, its symptoms, common causes, and how to find relief.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome
Dry eye symptoms vary from person to person and depend on the severity of the condition. Some people may experience only mild discomfort, while others may have constant irritation and pain. If you have dry eyes, you may notice:
- An itching or burning sensation
- Red, swollen, or irritated eyes
- A gritty feeling in your eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred or fluctuating vision
- Eye fatigue or pain
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Excessive tearing (which may be a reflex response to the dryness)
Common causes of dry eye syndrome
Dry eye is a common issue as we age. Our eyes produce fewer tears as we get older, which makes us more susceptible to dry eye. Additionally, certain medications like antihistamines, decongestants, and blood pressure medications can lead to dry eye. Environmental factors like air conditioning, wind, and smoke and some medical conditions can also increase your risk of dry eye. Women are also more likely to develop dry eye due to hormonal changes during pregnancy, menopause, and from taking birth control.
Tips for finding relief
Fortunately, there are several remedies that can help you manage dry eye symptoms. For mild cases, artificial tears or lubricating eye drops can help soothe itchiness and discomfort. Lifestyle changes such as taking frequent breaks from screens, using a humidifier in dry areas, and wearing sunglasses when outdoors may also help.
If your symptoms persist or get worse, it’s important to see an eye doctor to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. Our eye doctors in Littleton, Colorado can figure out what’s causing your dry eye and recommend the best treatment. We offer a range of treatments, including prescription eye drops, special contact lenses for dry eye, and tear duct plugs. We also offer a variety of treatment options for meibomian gland dysfunction, one of the main causes of dry eye, including meibomian gland probing, Nordic Naturals supplements, and warm compresses.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start seeing more comfortably.