Dry eye syndrome is a ruthless condition that occurs when your eyes don't have enough tear film or when the tears are not of the right consistency to keep the eyes lubricated. The sufferer is often left feeling helpless with constant sensations of discomfort and dryness around their eyes.
If you suffer from chronic dry eye, you know the common symptoms all too well: irritation, discomfort, and a constant feeling of grittiness. While there is no cure for this condition, there are treatments that can help to improve your symptoms. If you have chronic dry eyes, you might have been thinking of seeing a doctor to learn more about the best treatment options for you.
If left untreated, you can end up with chronic dry eye, which can be even more irritating and potentially cause blurry vision. We will focus on covering the symptoms behind this problem with some causes and potential treatments so that you can start taking action.
Common Dry Eye Signs & Symptoms
The first place to start if you want to take action is by determining what symptoms you need to get under control. Although it is usually self-explanatory to know whether or not you have dry eyes, it is worth digging into the common symptoms so that you can start to self-diagnose your problem at home before visiting the doctor.
More than likely, if you find yourself right now, or every so often, forcing your eyes closed for long periods of time just to experience some relief, then you might be a great candidate for using a dry eye mask. Along with other treatments recommended by your doctor, this is a great way to start getting problems under control. Here are some of the most common dry eye signs and symptoms:
- Dry feeling in and around your eyeballs
- A burning sensation, stinging or itching in the eyes
- Feeling like debris is in your eyes
- A feeling of having something in the eyes
- Increased sensitivity to light
- Blurry vision
- Watery eyes
- Hard time night driving
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
One of the most common dry eye symptoms is feeling like you need to keep your eyes closed for long periods of time. If this describes your condition, you might be able to say that dry eye syndrome is the culprit.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that this list of symptoms is not a consensus by any means. You might only experience one or two of the above symptoms. On the other hand, somebody else could be experiencing almost all of them! This really all depends on who you are, the cause of the symptoms, and any conditions you may have. That being said, let’s dig more into the root cause of dry eye syndrome.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry eye disease is a condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. It can be caused by a number of factors, including the surface of the eye, autoimmune conditions, thyroid problems, hormonal changes, and certain medications. Surgery, such as LASIK, can also cause dry eye. Symptoms include blurry vision, eye infection, and chronic dry eye. Treatment options include gels, compresses, punctal plugs, and eye surgery.
Our bodies go through changes that can impact our eye health as we age. For example, during menopause, many women experience dryness that can lead to blurred vision. This is because not enough tears are produced to keep the eyes lubricated.
In any case, it is worth noting that if you are noticing dry eyes becoming more and more prevalent in your later years, this is completely normal. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take action to lessen the symptoms. This is often done well using a dry eye mask, for example.
— Side Effects
If you are on medication for a condition, the prescription pills you are taking may also be causing your dryness symptoms. This is a relatively common side effect of certain antidepressants, for example.
If you suspect that your medication is the main culprit for your dry eyes, consult first with your doctor. It is possible that they did not envision this happening to you. Specifically, that it is causing much more discomfort than the relief that was intended. You might be able to get another type of medication to fight the problem without causing dry eyes.
— Another Condition
Blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction, rosacea, and faulty tear ducts can also contribute to dryness and blurred vision. For example, a humidifier can help add moisture to the room if you have a condition that is not going to go away. In addition, you should consider other standard treatment methods.
Treatment For Dry Eyes
There are a number of ways to treat dry eye, depending on the severity of the condition. Over-the-counter artificial tears and eye drops can help to lubricate the eyes and prevent premature evaporation. However, the exact best treatment option can vary from person to person.
Treatment may focus on the underlying condition if dry eye is caused by rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren's syndrome. For more severe cases, prescription ointments and lubrication may be necessary. In some cases, antihistamines can be used to reduce symptoms. Let’s go ahead and break down the top treatment options to look at:
1. Use A Dry Eye Mask
Another solution is to block the tear ducts to prevent tears from draining away too quickly. If you use a heated eye mask, it will help warm up dry oils and help them to spread across your eyes evenly. Here at Dry Eye Mask, we have a great dry eye mask that can help your natural oils to lubricate and moisten up your eyes without evaporating prematurely.
2. Eye Drops
Perhaps the most common treatment is to use artificial tears to help lubricate the eyes. This is also very easy to do and doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription. Simply go to a pharmacy and buy some eye drops over the counter. Next time your eyes start to feel dry, put in a drop and get instant relief.
3. Consult With Your Doctor
In any case, the best means of treatment should be addressed directly with your doctor. They will be the one who knows your condition best and will also be the best resource for helping you tackle your symptoms. If you suspect that another condition is causing your dry eye symptoms, then you should go straight to your doctor.
Dry Eye Prevention Tips
Once you start to get your symptoms under control, your focus should be to prevent the problems from reoccurring down the road. Although the precise route of action may vary depending on your condition and other variables, there are some means for prevention that you should keep in mind. Below, we will cover some of the top tips you should start with:
1. Use a Humidifier
Often, the first thing that you need to account for is how your home environment is. If you have dry eyes while at home, it could be that dry air is causing the problem! One idea to try out right away is to put a humidifier in your home. This might be enough to prevent symptoms from coming back. However, you should still keep your dry eye mask, and eye drops handy if your natural tears don’t start to come back and do their job thoroughly!
2. Wear Protective Eyewear
Sometimes, the sun might be the main reason that you have dry eye symptoms. If you start to wear protective eyewear such as sunglasses along with taking normal measures such as limiting your exposure to UV rays, you might notice your lacrimal glands working back in full force soon!
3. Limit Screen Time
Finally, an ophthalmologist will often tell you that your screen time is one of the main risk factors that is causing your dry eyes in the first place. A prescription eye drop can only help so much in these instances. Therefore, try to limit your computer screen time as much as possible. If you work on the computer, use a light filter to keep your eyes comfortable and moist, as they should be!
Watch For Watery Eyes
There are a number of potential causes of watery eyes, ranging from common conditions like allergies to more severe cases that may require prescription medication. Cyclosporine is a common eye drop used to treat watery eyes, but it can have some side effects like poor quality vision in dry climates. Birth control and other medical conditions can also be potential causes of watery eyes. In severe cases, Xiidra may be prescribed as a last resort.
The Bottom Line
Dry eye syndrome is one of the eye conditions that a simple visit to the eye doctor for an eye exam will do little to help fix. In reality, you will likely always need to be proactive to keep your symptoms in check.
Although there are many common causes of dry eyes, it is best to have a doctor take a look at your symptoms of dry eye and determine the best course of action. Usually, using a dry eye mask along with eye drops will be a great means of keeping the problem in check.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dry eyes serious?
Dry eyes can be a serious problem if they are not treated properly. If you suffer from dry eyes, you may experience symptoms such as redness, itching, burning, and blurred vision. If left untreated, dry eyes can lead to corneal ulcers and even blindness.
Therefore, if you believe that you have dry eye syndrome, it is best to get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. This way, they can determine what is causing the problem, the severity of your dry eye syndrome, and how to best treat the problem.
It is worth noting, though, that most cases of dry eye syndrome are very treatable and are not that serious. With swift action and the use of common treatment methods like a dry eye mask, you can keep your symptoms in check.
Can dry eye resolve itself?
Dry eye can resolve itself if the underlying cause is addressed. If the cause is not addressed, dry eye can become a chronic condition. It is worth noting that there is no cure for dry eye syndrome, but the symptoms can be managed.
The most irresponsible thing you can do is to sit and assume that your eyes will take care of themselves while you are suffering every day from uncomfortable burning sensations and discomfort. This could actually result in the problem becoming more worse than previously envisioned.
If you want to take control of your life and start living again without discomfort, you should begin seeking proper treatment. The first step is to pay a visit to your doctor.
Is it possible to lose your eyesight from dry eyes?
Yes, it is possible to lose your eyesight from dry eyes. Dry eyes can cause the cornea to become damaged and scarred, which can lead to vision loss. Often, early tear evaporation is the main culprit, along with your tear ducts getting clogged.
Although many people might resort to supplements for getting the problem under control, the best course of action is often to see the doctor immediately and see what is causing the problem. Without first identifying the problem, fixing the symptoms will be very difficult.
Regardless, it is worth noting that total vision loss is not something that will be done overnight. It will take years of abuse and missed opportunities for the problem to reach this point in most cases.
Are you thinking of taking action and getting your dry eye symptoms under control? Our Dry Eye Mask is the perfect solution. Click here to learn more.