Everyone experiences dry, itchy eyes at some point in their lives, especially during allergy season or after a long day of staring at a computer screen. However, when dry eyes become a constant issue, it’s important to seek professional care to make sure you don’t have an underlying condition like dry eye syndrome.
Most cases of dry eye syndrome are mild and can be effectively treated with at-home remedies, but, in severe cases, dry eye can damage your cornea and lead to vision loss and scarring if left untreated. In this blog post, we’ll share everything you need to know about dry eye syndrome, including its symptoms and common causes as well as tips for finding relief.
What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome, or dry eye disease, happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears or the tears they produce evaporate too quickly. This leads to your eyes becoming dry, red, and irritated as well as other symptoms like itchiness, burning, blurred vision, and light sensitivity. In severe cases, it may even feel like there’s something in your eye even though nothing is there.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to schedule an eye exam with your optometrist. They can determine if an underlying condition is causing your symptoms and suggest the most suitable treatment.
Common causes of dry eye
Many different factors can lead to dry eye, and it’s not always easy to determine the underlying cause. Some common causes include aging, hormonal changes due to pregnancy or menopause, certain medications, and diseases like Sjogren’s syndrome. Weather conditions like wind, high heat, dry air, and sunlight can also result in dry eye symptoms. Additionally, too much screen time or wearing contact lenses for too long can contribute to this condition.
Treatment options for dry eye
If you’re dealing with dry eye, there are plenty of things you can try to get relief. One common treatment option is using artificial tears, which are eye drops that you can buy over the counter without a prescription. These eye drops provide moisture and relief for dry eye due to temporary causes.
Another way to find relief is to take breaks from activities that strain your eyes, such as staring at screens for too long. Make sure to take a break every 20 minutes and focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. These frequent breaks will give your eyes some much-needed rest and help prevent digital eye strain. You could also try using a humidifier in your home or office to add some moisture to the air.
If artificial tears and at-home remedies aren’t relieving your symptoms, our eye doctors at Pathway Eye offer a range of treatments for dry eye. If you’re diagnosed with dry eye, our optometrist will work closely with you to develop a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs. Rather than just treating the symptoms, our treatment plans are designed to target the root cause of your dry eye to provide you with long-lasting relief and comfort.
Dry, itchy eyes can be frustrating to live with, but you don’t have to live in discomfort. At Pathway Eye, we can help diagnose the underlying cause of your dry eyes and recommend the best treatment options. Give us a call today to schedule an eye exam at a Pathway Eye location near you.