Are your eyes constantly dry and itchy? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world experience these symptoms, especially if they spend hours in front of screens. Allergies, recent surgery, and even stress can all lead to dry, itchy eyes, but one of the most common causes is dry eye disease.
In this blog post, we’re going to take a closer look at what dry eye disease is, its common causes and symptoms, and how you can find relief.
What is dry eye disease?
Dry eye disease happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears to keep them lubricated, or when your tears evaporate too quickly. Tears are essential for keeping your eyes healthy and protecting them from dust, bacteria, and other foreign particles. If your eyes don’t produce enough tears, they can get dry, itchy, and uncomfortable.
Symptoms of dry eye
Some common symptoms of dry eye disease include stinging, burning, redness, itchiness, blurred vision, and a gritty feeling in your eyes. It could also make you more sensitive to light and make it harder to wear contact lenses.
Causes of dry eye
Many different factors can lead to dry eye disease. Some medications like antihistamines and decongestants can cause dry eyes as a side effect. As we get older, tear production tends to decrease, which can make our eyes feel dry. Living in dry climates or spending too much time in air-conditioned or heated rooms can also contribute to dry eyes. Other causes may include medical conditions like autoimmune diseases, hormone imbalances, or inflammation.
Finding relief from dry eye
The good news is there are plenty of ways to relieve dry eye symptoms. One option is using artificial tears to moisturize your eyes and make them feel more comfortable. Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water and adding more fish, nuts, and leafy vegetables (foods high in omega-3 fatty acids) to your diet can help ease your symptoms.
If you’re outdoors, don’t forget to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the wind, dust, and sunlight. And if you spend a lot of time working on a computer, remember to blink often and take regular breaks. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from the screen for at least 20 seconds and focus on something 20 feet away.
Expert dry eye care
If you’re dealing with dry eye symptoms, it’s important to see an eye doctor who can figure out the root cause and offer personalized treatment. At Ideal EyeCare, our experienced eye doctors in Omaha and Council Bluffs can figure out what’s causing your symptoms and recommend the best treatment for your specific case. Treatment options might include prescription eye drops, tear duct plugs, medication, or light therapy. Give us a call today to book an appointment and let us help you find relief.