Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are a common and frustrating problem that many people experience at some point in their lives. They happen when your eyes either don’t make enough tears, or when your eyes don’t make high quality tears to keep your eyes nourished and moisturised. This can make your eyes feel uncomfortable, and in severe cases it can sometimes damage your cornea - the clear outer layer at the front of your eye. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Eyes?

Along with dryness, dry eye symptoms can include:

  • Eye pain
  • Excess tears or watery eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Itching and irritation
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Feeling like you have specks of sand trapped in your eye
  • Blurry vision 

What Factors Contribute To Dry Eyes?

Many lifestyle and health factors can trigger dry eyes, including the time spent staring at your phone or computer which reduces our blinking rate, exposure to smoke or dry air, wearing contact lenses, allergies or the ageing process - to name a few. 

How Are Dry Eyes Treated?

Treatment for dry eye usually depends on what’s causing your symptoms. There are a few different types of treatment that can ease your symptoms and help keep your eyes healthy.

  1. Eye drops: The most common treatment for mild dry eyes are eye drops called artificial tears. Your optometrist can give you a prescription for targeted medication, and there are also moisturising gels and ointments that may help your eyes feel better.
  2. Lifestyle changes: If something in your life or your environment is causing your dry eyes, or making it worse, your optometrist may suggest changes to help protect your eyes. For example, if a medicine you take for another health condition is causing dry eyes, they may suggest that you try a different medicine.
  3. Home remedies: You may also feel better if you:
  • Avoid smoke, wind, and air conditioning
  • Limit heater and air conditioning use, and use a humidifier to keep the air in your home from getting too dry
  • Try warm compresses
  • Limit screen time and take breaks from staring at screens
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses when you're outside to protect your eyes from wind and harmful UV rays
  • Drink plenty of water and get enough sleep
  • Consume more omega-3 fatty acids

To read more about dry eyes and recommended home remedies, read our in depth article here.

While dry eyes are common, they should not be put up with, and they may be a symptom of an underlying condition. Our optometrists are highly experienced in assessing the root cause of dry eyes and managing them with targeted treatment to give you relief, comfort and protect your future eye health. To make an appointment with one of our optometrists, contact us here.

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