Your eyes are dry, and you find yourself blinking and rubbing them to make them not feel as if someone threw sand in them. How do you know if you have dry eyes or if it is a common problem? What do you do to deal with this and what are the symptoms? If you have persistent dry eyes there are many causes and treatments available to deal with this problem.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
According to the “National Eye Institute, dry eye symptoms may include any of the following:
- stinging or burning of the eye;
- a sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye;
- episodes of excess tears following very dry eye periods;
- a stringy discharge from the eye;
- pain and redness of the eye;
- episodes of blurred vision;
- heavy eyelids;
- inability to cry when emotionally stressed;
- uncomfortable contact lenses;
- decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer, or any activity that requires sustained visual attention;
- eye fatigue.
Dry eyes can be managed as an ongoing condition. The first priority is to determine if a disease is the underlying cause of the dry eye. If it is, then the underlying disease needs to be treated. At Nutfield Eye, we can diagnose this issue for you and give you the proper treatment to combat dry eyes.
What are some measures I can use to help myself?
- Use artificial tears, gels, gel inserts, and ointments – available over the counter – as the first line of therapy. They offer temporary relief and provide an important replacement of naturally produced tears in patients with aqueous tear deficiency. Avoid artificial tears with preservatives if you need to apply them more than four times a day or preparations with chemicals that cause blood vessels to constrict.
- Wearing glasses or sunglasses that fit close to the face (wrap around shades) or that have side shields can help slow tear evaporation from the eye surfaces. Indoors, an air cleaner to filter dust and other particles helps prevent dry eyes. A humidifier also may help by adding moisture to the air.
- Avoid dry conditions and allow your eyes to rest when performing activities that require you to use your eyes for long periods of time. Instill lubricating eye drops while performing these tasks.
If the problem with dry eyes persists, contact Nutfield Eye Associates in Derry, NH 603-434-3937 and Londonderry 603-421-0022 for help and to find out if a prescription is needed to treat the condition.