Dry Eyes2021-12-02T12:05:17+00:00

Persistent dry, irritated or watery eyes may be a symptom of dry eye syndrome

If your eyes often feel dry, gritty or irritated, you should see our dry eye specialist

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Persistent dry, irritated or watery eyes may be a symptom of dry eye syndrome

If your eyes often feel dry, gritty or irritated, you should see our dry eye specialist

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Dry eyes can have many different causes

Discover more about this symptom and the next steps to take towards eye comfort

Dry eyes can have many different causes. Most of us have probably suffered the sensation of dry eyes at some point. The tired, gritty feeling can be brought on temporarily by lack of sleep, a dry climate, and many other environmental factors. But in some people, dry eyes can be a constant problem and one that requires treatment to bring relief.

Dry eyes occur when the eyes cannot produce enough ‘normal’ tears or when tears evaporate quickly because of a problem with the tear film’. There are many reasons why this might occur.

Dry eyes causes

Meibomian gland inflammation and Blepharitis:

Some of the factors that can contribute to Dry Eyes.

Age and gender:

As we age, our eyes produce fewer tears, which is why dry eyes affect around 75% of all people aged over 65. Gender is also a factor, with women more likely to suffer than men.

Using a computer:

People who use a computer tend to blink less frequently than normal – about seven times per minute, rather than the normal rate of around 22 times per minute. This can cause increased evaporation of tears, and hence dry eyes. Positioning your monitor below eye level can help, as it allows the upper eyelid to cover more of the eye’s surface. Being aware of your blink rate, air circulation, and glare can also help.

Wearing contact lenses:

Dry eye is the leading cause of contact lens irritation. It is most common among soft contact lens wearers and can cause irritation, protein deposits and red eyes.

Use of some medications:

Some medications can lead to dry eye symptoms. If you use decongestants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications, oral contraceptives, antidepressants or eye drops for red eyes’, these may contribute to your symptoms.

Diseases:

Some diseases are commonly associated with dry eyes, including arthritis, diabetes, asthma, thyroid disease and lupus. Sjögren’s Syndrome is the name given to the combination of dry eyes, dry mouth and arthritis.

Inflammation of eyelid glands & eyelash follicles:

Inflammation of the eyelid glands (called meibomian glands) and eyelash follicles can compromise the tear’s quality film, which causes tears to evaporate more quickly. This is sometimes caused by an overgrowth of bacteria normally found on the eyelids. If this is the case, you can often treat the problem with warm compresses, good eyelid hygiene and sometimes, special antibiotics.

If your eyes constantly feel dry, gritty or sandy, you may suffer from dry eye syndrome. Other symptoms include red, irritated or sore eyes and difficulty wearing contact lenses. Sometimes, watery eyes can be a symptom of dry eyes. This is because the body produces excessive tears in response to the dryness and irritation.

If you are affected by any dry eye symptoms, the best thing to do is make an appointment with one of our dry eye specialists. They will be able to assess your condition and discuss the best treatment options for you.

There are so many different causes of dry eyes. For this reason, your treatment will depend on your symptoms and the specific cause of your condition. Most treatments involve either replacing tears or reducing tear drainage.

How do I know which eye drops to use?

There are many different types of lubricant drops, gels and ointments that we can recommend to manage dry eye symptoms. Your ophthalmologist can advise you which will be of most benefit to you.

Will dry eyes go away on their own?

It depends on the underlying cause of the dry eyes.

Do dry eyes affect your vision?

If the surface of your eye does not have a thick tear film, this may result in blurred vision.

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Additional resources on treating dry eye

Learn more about treating dry eye disease from authoritative sources.

Dry eyes are a chronic lack of lubrication and moisture on the surface of the eye. An adequate and consistent layer of tears on the surface of the eye is essential to keep your eyes healthy, comfortable, and seeing well.

Tears bathe the eye’s surface to keep it moist and wash away dust, debris and microorganisms that could damage the cornea and lead to an eye infection.

Click here to read more.

Sometimes, there’s a lack of balance in your tear-flow system. Or your air conditioner, heater, or other things around you could dry out your tear film.

Other causes include:

  • The natural aging process, especially menopause
  • Side effects of certain drugs like antihistamines
  • Diseases that affect your ability to make tears, like Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and collagen vascular diseases
  • Problems that don’t allow your eyelids to close the way they should

Click here to read more. 

An adequate and consistent layer of tears on the surface of the eye is essential to keep your eyes healthy, comfortable and seeing well.

Tears bathe the eye’s surface to keep it moist and wash away dust, debris and microorganisms that could damage the cornea and lead to an eye infection.

A normal tear film consists of three important components:

  • An oily (lipid) component
  • A watery (aqueous) component
  • A mucous-like (mucin) component

A problem with any of these sources of tear film components can result in tear instability and dry eyes.

Click here to read more. 

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