‘How do you know if you have dry eyes’ is one of the most commonly asked questions when your eyes lack adequate lubrication and feel dry and uncomfortable. The eye often becomes red, swollen and itchy – with other mild symptoms affecting them and leading to discomfort.
Dry eyes usually affect both eyes, and symptoms can come and go frequently or can be experienced for prolonged amounts of time. Symptoms such as these are understandably irritating and in some cases affecting an individual’s quality of life. Find out more about the most common symptoms and causes of dry eyes.
Most Common Causes of Dry Eyes
An optician will be able to tell you if you have dry eyes, but here are some of the warning signs you can spot yourself:
- Stinging eyes
- Burning sensation in eyes
- ‘Scratching’ feeling
- Blurred Vision
- Tired eyes
- Inability to wear contact lenses
- Struggling when driving at night
- Watery and extremely teary eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Irritation and pain
- Swollen eyes
- Eyelids sticking together
If you display any of these symptoms or are unsure of why you are experiencing dry eyes, visit your optician for an eye examination. In doing this, they’ll be able to offer treatment suggestions or refer you to an eye specialist if needed. Here at Reynolds Opticians, we have a specialist Dry Eye Clinic, trained to help treat and prevent dry eyes.
What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry eyes are a very common eye condition and are something that is easily treated. Dry eye issues stem from problems with your tear glands and tear ducts. When these are not performing correctly, there is a lack of tears made or the tears that are created evaporate too quickly.
Tear properties include water, mucus and oils. These combine together, making lubricant that keeps your eye smooth and clear, whilst preventing your eyes from getting an infection from bacteria. Without these your eyes can become irritated and suffer from the symptoms above, resulting in discomfort.
Causes of Dry Eyes:
- Hormonal changes – such as during pregnancy or menopause
- Ageing of the eye
- External irritants like smoke, hot blowing air, wind and altitude
- Medications such as antihistamines
- Strain from activities like reading, writing or looking at a computer screen for too long
- Laser eye surgery
- Medical conditions like lupus, conjunctivitis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Previous injury or trauma to your eye
Treating Dry Eyes
Although dry eyes can recur commonly, it is fairly easy to treat with a number of easily available medicines and solutions, most available over the counter.
Firstly you’ll need to establish the reason for your dry eyes – depending on the cause there are different treatments available including teardrops, eye ointments and anti-inflammatories. These work in varying ways, so it’s important to understand the root of your dry eye syndrome to treat it effectively.
Be aware of the environment around you and make changes if needed to help reduce the irritation. There may also be underlying reasons behind your symptoms, so focus on treating these to help relieve your suffering.
Get Your Dry Eyes Checked By An Optician
If you have mild recurring symptoms of dry eyes or are unaware of their cause, it is advisable to visit your optician. At Reynolds Opticians in Penzance, our specialists are happy to advise and treat dry eye syndrome. Book your dry eye appointment to get checked out today by calling 01736366239 or filling out our contact form.
If you have any questions about treating dry eyes, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us and we will be happy to assist you with the best course of action. For more information on how to look after your eyes, visit the Reynolds Opticians Blog.