If you’re experiencing gritty, sore eyes most days, you might be suffering from Dry Eye. It’s always best to check with an eye expert to get an official diagnosis. But there are some common signs and symptoms to look out for.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry Eye is a condition where the surface of the eye becomes inflamed and sore due to a poor relationship between the tear film and the eyelids. This might be because your eyes are not producing enough tears, or that the chemistry of the tear film is out of balance. The most common cause is chronic inflammation of the eyelids.
Signs + Symptoms of dry eye
Symptoms of Dry Eye can range from mild to severe, but may include:
- Gritty, sore eyes
- Tired eyes
- Eyes that appear slightly red most of the time
- Watery eyes
- Being ‘aware’ of your eyes throughout the day
- Blurry vision that comes and goes as you blink
- Eyes that struggle to wear contact lenses
- Eyes that are easily bothered by smoke, wind, air conditioning
- Feeling like there is something in your eyes (foreign body sensation)
- Irritated eyes
How Common is Dry Eye?
1 in 5 adults suffer with Dry Eye symptoms every day, and many more will have episodes when they are in certain environments, like air conditioned offices or doing specific activities, such as using a computer for prolonged periods.
Dry Eyes are more common among women, and in older people, but there are many other factors that can increase your likelihood of having signs and symptoms:
- Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
- Computer use (you blink less frequently)
- Contact lens wear
- Laser eye surgery
- Using eye drops that contain preservatives for other conditions such as glaucoma
- Hormonal changes
- Being dehydrated
- Pollution or dry environments
- Some medications which might be used for high blood pressure, hay fever, contraception, and depression. CAUTION: do not alter or adjust your prescribed medicines without instructions from your doctor. Your doctor or optometrist can advise you about any possible links between the medication you take and dryness symptoms.
How do you manage dry eye?
Dry Eye is a chronic condition that needs to be managed regularly, rather than ‘cured’. Just like a chronic skin condition, such as eczema, you need to manage it daily to avoid flare-ups of symptoms.
Making sure the eyelids are healthy, and using the correct lubricant eye drops (also called artificial tears), is key. Your optometrist or pharmacist can recommend a daily regime for you to follow that will reduce symptoms and make your eyes comfortable again.
It is also important to eat a balanced diet that includes Omega - 3 fatty acids (beneficial for the oil-producing glands in the eyelids), and to make sure you stay hydrated all day.
Hyabak® and Thealoz® Duo are ideal for the daily management of Dry Eye. These preservative-free Dry Eye drops can be used as often as required, and are suitable for use with contact lenses.
thÉa dry eye solutions
Using regular eye drops can help to balance the quantity and quality of tears in your eyes. We have a range of formulations, free from preservatives, designed specifically to protect and hydrate your eyes.