When your eyes lack adequate lubrication, they can feel dry and uncomfortable. The eye often become 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 – in some cases affecting an individual’s quality of life.
Top Most Common Dry Eye Symptoms
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 extreme teary eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Irritation and pain
- Swollen eyes
- Eyelids sticking together
If you display any of these symptoms, visit your optician or local GP – they’ll be able to offer treatment suggestions or refer you to an eye specialist if needed.
The Cause Of Dry Eye Syndrome
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 infection from bacteria. Without these your eyes can become irritated and suffer from the symptoms above, resulting in discomfort.
Reasons for this include:
- Hormonal changes – such as during pregnancy or the 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 fairy 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 tear drops, 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, here.