The symptoms of dry eyes typically occur in both eyes rather than just one. Some common symptoms include a scratchy or stinging feeling in the eyes, redness, and a sense of having debris or grit in the eyes. Some individuals with dry eyes also experience sensitivity to light or blurry vision. Those who have dry eyes might also have trouble wearing contacts or being able to drive when it’s dark out. In some cases, individuals might have watery eyes due to eye irritation.
A few different factors can cause dry eyes. Some individuals have this condition when their glands don’t produce enough tears, which can happen due to aging, diabetes and other medical conditions, some types of medications, and damage to tear glands. Other individuals have dry eyes when their tears evaporate more than usual. This can occur due to exposure to environmental factors, such as wind or smoke. It can also happen from decreased blinking while staring at screens or driving. Having problems with one or more of the layers that make up tears, which include mucus, water, and oil, can also cause dry eyes. This can happen due to clogged or blocked glands.
There are several types of treatments available for dry eyes. The kind of treatment needed to relieve symptoms depends on the cause of this condition. Some treatment options include using artificial tears, getting dry eye plugs, and using prescription eye drops, such as RESTASIS® and Xiidra®. Artificial tears offer short-term relief from dry eye symptoms by increasing the amount of moisture in the eyes. Dry eye plugs prevent tears from draining too quickly, which helps the eyes stay moist on a regular basis. Xiidra and RESTASIS® eye drops block proteins that can lead to inadequate tear production or an imbalance in tear composition.
People who are prone to dry eyes can prevent symptoms from occurring in several ways. These include looking away from screens from time to time, using a humidifier in the home, avoiding exposure to smoke and other environmental factors if possible, and wearing wraparound sunglasses for extra protection. If you’re suffering from dry eyes, call or schedule an appointment online at Atlanta Vision Cataract & Laser Center.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!