About Dry Eyes
Dry eye is a common condition that occurs when your tears don’t adequately nourish and lubricate your eyes.
Normally, tears moisturize the surface of the eye, wash away foreign particles, and provide clear vision. Any excess tears flow into small drainage ducts located in the inner corner of the eyelids and then drain into the nasal cavity. When your tears are of poor quality or you don’t produce sufficient amounts, your eyes can feel irritated, and in some cases, need the attention of a doctor.
Dry Eye Causes
Dry eyes can be caused by poor tear quality, lack of tear production, and general issues with eyelid health and function. The root cause of these issues may be any of the following:
- Eye injury
- Medical conditions
- Environmental factors
- Eye or cosmetic surgery
- Taking certain medications
Certain medical conditions require treatment by a health care professional. Be sure to check with your doctor if your symptoms are severe.
Dry Eye Symptoms
The most common symptoms of dry eye are a stinging, burning, or scratchy sensation in one or both eyes, but other symptoms may include:
- Blurred vision
- Painful, bloodshot eyes
- Stringy discharge in or around your eye
- A gritty feeling as if something is in your eye
- Excessive tearing or an inability to tear when emotional
- Sensitivity to light, wind, smoke, or wearing contact lenses
- Eye fatigue from prolonged visual activities such as reading or working on a computer
When to see a doctor
If you have prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes or your symptoms are intolerable, see your doctor. Your doctor can accurately diagnose your condition or refer you to a specialist.
Dry Eye Prevention Tips
If you suffer from dry eye, try and determine what aggravates your symptoms and do your best to avoid situations that trigger a reaction. Follow these tips:
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
- Protect your eyes with sunglasses or eye shields
- Avoid areas where smoking is permitted
- Avoid situations where air can blow directly into your eyes
- Take breaks from tasks that require long periods of visual attention
- Be conscious of the amount of moisture in the air around you and make adjustments such as adding a humidifier in winter
- For some people, the use of nutritional supplements such as Omega 3 fatty acids can help
Treatment Options for Dry Eye
For occasional dry eye, the most common treatments are aimed at providing relief from symptoms, maintaining eye health, and preventing any damage to your vision. Severe cases of dry eye may require medical attention to treat the underlying causes.
- Applying a warm compress such as the Stye™ Eye Therapy Warming Compress
- Supplementing tear production with artificial tear drops
- Covering your eyes with a special contact lens
- Plugging tear ducts surgically to conserve tears
- Massaging the eyelid to help reduce inflammation
Stye™ Sterile Lubricant Eye Ointment is NOT A TREATMENT FOR DRY EYES