Eye conditions

A CLOSER LOOK AT DRY EYE

You may not feel them, you may not notice them, but your eyes are always full of tears. And that’s a good thing! Each time you blink, a thin layer of tears spreads across your eyes—lubricating them, washing away debris, and keeping them comfortable. Dry eye symptoms can develop when your eyes produce poor-quality tears, don’t produce enough tears or when tears evaporate too quickly. Any of these issues can leave your eyes feeling irritated and dry.

Symptoms & Causes of Dry Eye

The first, most obvious symptom is eye dryness, but not everyone will experience the same set of symptoms. There are also many different causes associated with dry eye, which can make an accurate diagnosis difficult.

Symptoms
  • Eye dryness
  • Stinging or burning eyes
  • Eye irritation
  • Gritty eyes
  • Scratchy eyes
  • Tired eyes
  • Excessive tearing
  • Fluctuating or blurry vision
Causes
  • Aging
  • Improper wear or care of contact lenses
  • Environmental factors
  • LASIK and other refractive surgeries
  • Autoimmune diseases, including Sjögren’s Syndrome
  • Hormonal changes, including menopause
  • Certain types of medications
  • Reduced blinking (due to reading or looking at a computer screen)
  • Other health conditions
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Digital eye strain may be a cause of dry eye symptoms. Extended time staring at computer screens and other digital devices can cause you to blink less, which can lead to dryness of the eye. Learn more about the link between dry eye and digital eye strain here.

Dry Eye Symptom Relief

There are a variety of products available to soothe dry eye symptoms and help restore comfort to your eyes.

Artificial tear drops are a quick, easy way to lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture. They’re available without a prescription, and if you find that you are sensitive to preservatives, then preservative-free options are also available.

Conserving your eyes’ own tears is another approach to help your eyes retain moisture. Tears drain out of the eyes through small channels, which lead into the nose. Your ophthalmologist may perform a procedure to temporarily or permanently close those channels. This conserves your own tears and can make artificial tears last longer.

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If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you may have dry eye. However, some dry eye symptoms are similar to those of allergy-related red eye. It’s important to know what’s causing your symptoms so you can get the proper treatment. Learn more about eye allergies here.

Tips for Preventing Dry Eye

Making a few simple lifestyle and environmental changes can help prevent and relieve acute cases of dry eye:

Comfort is a Drop Away

Lubricant eye drops from SYSTANE® and GENTEAL® Tears both offer fast, effective relief from dry eye symptoms like dryness, burning and irritation.

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