What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Eye?
Have you got sore, red, itchy eyes? Does it seem worse now that winter is setting in? You could have Dry Eye. As the air outside gets colder and we spend more time indoors with the heating on, it can become more prevalent. So, what are the symptoms of dry eye?
Common symptoms include:
- burning and/or gritty feeling in your eyes
- sore, red, itchy eyes
- blurry vision
- sensitivity to light
- sore eyelids
- watery eyes
Who’s At Risk?
Dry eye is more common in women and the over 60s. Other risk factors include:
- dry, hot, or windy climates
- inflammatory diseases e.g. rheumatoid arthritis
- the oral contraceptive pill
What Causes Dry Eye?
Dry Eye occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or the tears are not good quality, so they evaporate more quickly from the surface of your eyes. It is often related to 2 other eye conditions:
- meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) – when the glands that secrete oils, which form part of your tears, become blocked, causing a drop in your tear quality
- blepharitis – when the margins of your eyelids become inflamed due to the bacteria that normally live there overgrowing.
Both MGD and blepharitis can contribute to Dry Eye symptoms.
Dry Eye Treatments
Treatments to improve your symptoms include:
- hot compresses – apply a clean flannel soaked in hot water to your closed eyes for several minutes and then carefully clean your eyelid margins with the flannel
- following the 20-20-20 rule – if you use digital screens a lot, make sure you look away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds by staring at something 20 feet (6 metres) away
- switching to glasses – give your eyes a break from contact lenses by wearing glasses
- using a humidifier – this will help prevent the air from drying out indoors
- using eye drops and ointments – apply these several times throughout the day to lubricate your eyes
There are many different types of eye drops and our experienced optometrists can advise on which is best for you. To find out more about customised treatment for your Dry Eye, get in touch with The Optical Shop, your opticians in Staines, to book a Dry Eye assessment today.