Have your eyes been feeling itchier lately? Are you constantly rubbing your eyes and reaching for eye drops? If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience these symptoms, and they can be caused by different things like allergies, eye infections, or a change in the weather. But did you know that itchy eyes can also be a sign of dry eye syndrome? Keep reading to learn more about this condition, its symptoms, causes, and ways to find relief.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome
Dry eye syndrome happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears or when the tears aren’t good quality. Tears are crucial for keeping your eyes healthy and protecting them from infection and irritants. Not having enough tears can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like redness, burning, stinging, blurred vision, and the sensation that something’s stuck in your eye. You might also have trouble wearing contact lenses and be more sensitive to light.
Another surprising symptom of dry eye is watery eyes, also known as reflex tearing. It happens when your eyes overproduce watery, poor-quality tears to compensate for dryness.
Common causes of dry eye syndrome
Several factors can raise your risk of developing dry eye, including:
- Environmental factors like dry climates, air conditioning, and wind
- Certain medications like antihistamines, decongestants, and blood pressure medications
- Health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes
- Too much screen time
- Wearing contact lenses
- Hormonal changes due to pregnancy, menopause, or using birth control
How to treat dry eye syndrome
Now that you have a good understanding of what dry eye is and what causes it, let’s talk about how you can treat it. Luckily, there are plenty of options available, depending on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause of your dry eye.
One effective treatment option is prescription eye drops, which can help reduce inflammation and promote tear production. Lifestyle changes like taking frequent breaks from screens, using a humidifier in dry areas, keeping hydrated, and wearing sunglasses outdoors can also help. If your dry eye is more serious, your eye doctor may recommend more advanced treatments. One option is MiBo Thermoflo, which is a medical device that uses heat to relieve dry eye symptoms.
Another effective treatment is an in-office eye care procedure called LidPro. LidPro uses a medical-grade micro-sponge to remove debris along the edges of the eyelids and eyelashes that can contribute to inflammation and dry eye.
In conclusion, if you’re dealing with dry eye symptoms, it may be more than just allergies or seasonal irritation. If you’re unsure of the cause, an eye exam with your optometrist can diagnose the underlying issue behind your dry eye. At Southern Eye Centers, our eye doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating dry eye. We can figure out what’s causing your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan that works for you. Give us a call today to schedule your appointment.