Symptoms of Dry Eyes: Causes, Signs, and Remedies

Symptoms of dry eyes

Ever felt a constant itch in your eyes? Or found yourself often using eye drops to soothe them? You might be dealing with dry eyes, a common issue many face but often ignore. Though it seems straightforward, there’s more to dry eyes than meets the eye. From unexpected signs & symptoms to reasons behind it and ways to find relief, this guide covers all you need to know about dry eyes. Eager to restore comfort to your eyes? Let’s get started!

Symptoms Of Dry Eyes: More Than Just Dryness

Dry eyes might sound like a straightforward condition, but its symptoms can manifest in various ways. While the primary sensation is, of course, a feeling of dryness, several other signs can indicate this issue. Here’s a breakdown of the symptoms that those with dry eyes might experience:

  • The Obvious Feeling of Dryness: The most direct and common symptom. It feels like your eyes are parched, similar to how your mouth feels when thirsty.
  • Burning Sensation: A frequent irritant for many, this feels like a mild burning or stinging sensation, often accompanied by itching.
  • Red Eyes: Dry eyes can often lead to reddened eyes, making you look tired or unwell.
  • Sensitivity to Light: An increased sensitivity to bright lights, or even sunlight, can indicate dry eyes.
  • Blurred Vision: Occasionally, those with dry eyes might experience moments of blurred vision, which can clear up after blinking a few times.
  • A Gritty Feeling: Feels as if there’s a tiny grain of sand in the eyes, causing discomfort.
  • Watery Eyes: Ironically, dry eyes can sometimes cause watery eyes. This is the body’s reflex to combat the dryness by producing extra tears.
  • Difficulty with Night Driving: The glare from headlights or streetlights can become more bothersome for those with dry eyes.
  • Heavy Eyelids: A sensation of heavy or tired eyelids, especially towards the end of the day.
  • Trouble Wearing Contact Lenses: Contacts might become uncomfortable or even unbearable to wear.

Recognizing these symptoms is the first step towards addressing the issue. If you find yourself nodding along to many of these signs, it might be time to consult an eye specialist and delve deeper into potential solutions.

Root Causes: Why Do Eyes Go Dry?

Root Causes-Why Do Eyes Go DryWhile the symptoms of dry eyes can be bothersome, understanding the root causes can help in addressing the issue more effectively. Here’s a breakdown of the most common causes:

  • Extended Computer Usage: In our digital age, many of us spend hours staring at computer screens. This can lead to reduced blinking and increased evaporation of the tear film, causing dry eyes. It’s commonly known as Computer Vision Syndrome.
  • Age: As we grow older, our eyes naturally produce fewer tears. It’s one of the reasons dry eyes are more prevalent among the elderly.
  • Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid disorders, can affect tear production. Sjogren’s syndrome, for instance, attacks the glands that produce tears.
  • Medications: Certain drugs, including antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, blood pressure medications, and even some medications for acne, can reduce tear production.
  • Environmental Factors: Living in a dry, windy, or smoky environment can accelerate tear evaporation, leading to dry eyes. Even prolonged exposure to air conditioners or heaters can have similar effects.
  • Wearing Contact Lenses: Long-term use of contact lenses can be a cause of dry eyes. They might also aggravate existing symptoms.
  • Refractive Eye Surgeries: Procedures like LASIK can decrease tear production, leading to temporary dry eyes.
  • Hormonal Changes in Women: Factors like pregnancy, use of oral contraceptives, or menopause can affect tear production in women, increasing the risk of dry eyes.
  • Blinking Disorders: Conditions that prevent complete blinking can result in dry spots on the cornea.

Understanding the cause of dry eyes can help in tailoring the treatment approach. If you suspect that a particular habit or medication is causing your eyes to go dry, it’s advisable to consult with an ophthalmologist to get a clearer picture.

Treatments: Finding Relief for Dry Eyes

Treatments-Finding Relief for Dry Eyes

Dry eyes might be a common complaint, but thankfully, there are various treatments available to provide relief. Depending on the severity and underlying cause of the condition, treatments can range from simple over-the-counter solutions to more specialized medical interventions. Here’s an overview of the options:

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Solutions

    • Artificial Tears: These are lubricating eye drops that help maintain moisture and can be used as often as needed.
    • Ointments: Used primarily for severe cases, these are thicker than regular drops and can provide longer-lasting relief. They might blur vision temporarily, so it’s recommended to use them before bedtime.

Prescription Treatments

    • Anti-inflammatory drugs: Eye drops like cyclosporine or lifitegrast can help increase tear production.
    • Steroid eye drops: For short-term relief in more severe cases, these can reduce inflammation associated with dry eyes.
    • Antibiotics: Reducing eyelid inflammation can increase oil flow to the eye, thus increasing tear production.

Lifestyle and Home Remedies

    • Blink More Often: Especially important for those who use computers extensively. Make a conscious effort to blink regularly to moisten the eyes.
    • Increase Humidity: Using a room humidifier can add moisture to dry indoor air.
    • Warm Compresses: Applying a warm cloth over closed eyes can help unblock oil glands.

Specialized Procedures

    • Punctal Plugs: Tiny silicone plugs inserted into the tear ducts can prevent tears from draining away too quickly.
    • LipiFlow: A device that massages and heats the eyelids, helping unclog oil-producing glands.
    • Intense Pulsed Light Therapy: This targets and reduces inflammation of the oil glands, improving their function.

Dietary Changes

    • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Consuming foods high in Omega-3, like flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fish, or taking supplements can help improve symptoms.

Eye Hygiene

    • Lid Scrubs: Using baby shampoo or special cleansers to gently scrub the eyelids can help in removing inflammation-causing debris.
    • Warm Compresses: Applying warm compresses followed by a lid massage can stimulate the oil glands on the eyelids.

Finding the right treatment often involves a bit of trial and error, as what works for one person might not work for another. If you’re experiencing persistent symptoms of dry eyes, consulting an ophthalmologist is essential. They can provide a thorough examination and recommend treatments tailored to your specific needs.

Prevention Tips to Keep Your Eyes Moist and Healthy

Prevention Tips to Keep Your Eyes Moist and HealthyKeeping your eyes moist and healthy is not just about treatment, but also about adopting preventive habits. If you want to reduce the chances of developing dry eyes or minimize its symptoms, follow these practical tips:

  1. Limit Screen Time:
    • Take Regular Breaks: Adopt the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
    • Adjust Screen Position: Ensure your computer screen is at or slightly below eye level, which reduces the amount of eye surface exposed and evaporation of tears.
  2. Protect Your Eyes:
    • Wear Sunglasses: Choose sunglasses with wraparound frames to reduce the impact of wind and dust on your eyes.
    • Avoid Direct Air: Keep away from direct blasts of air, like from air conditioners or heaters. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
  3. Stay Hydrated:
    • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to ensure your body has enough fluid to produce tears.
  4. Dietary Choices:
    • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Include more foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds in your diet.
    • Stay Away from Excess Caffeine: Too much caffeine can dehydrate your body, affecting tear production.
  5. Maintain Eye Hygiene:
    • Wash Your Eyes: Clean your eyes with cold water regularly to remove dust and debris.
    • Avoid Rubbing: Resist the urge to rub your eyes as this can exacerbate dryness.
  6. Avoid Smoking and Second-hand Smoke:
    • Smoking can aggravate symptoms of dry eyes. Avoid areas where people are smoking.

By incorporating these habits into your daily routine, you can significantly improve the health of your eyes and reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome. Your eyes are invaluable, so give them the care they deserve!


Your eyes are the windows to the world, and ensuring their health is paramount. While dry eyes may seem like a minor discomfort, they can be an indicator of underlying eye diseases. The best approach is always proactive care. Don’t let symptoms dictate your actions or wait for them to escalate. Instead, be vigilant and seek expert guidance. At the Best Eye Hospital in India, our team of experienced professionals is equipped to diagnose and treat a range of eye conditions. Remember, early detection and treatment can make all the difference.

Suffering from eye diseases? Don’t wait for symptoms to worsen. Book your free appointment now at the Best Eye Hospital in India or call us on 9711116605. Your vision is our mission.

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