Jan 1, 2024 | Dry Eye Syndrome

Is that Gritty Feeling in Your Eyes a Sign of Dry Eye Syndrome?

Do you ever feel like there’s sand or dirt in your eyes? Do your eyes constantly feel red, irritated, and sore? If you answered yes, then you might be dealing with dry eye syndrome. It’s a common eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what dry eye syndrome is, what causes it, its symptoms, and how to treat it. 

What is dry eye syndrome? 

Dry eye syndrome happens when our eyes don’t make enough tears or when the tears dry up too fast. Tears are crucial for your eye health as they lubricate your eyes, protect against infections, and keep the surface of your eyes clear. When our eyes get dry, they can become irritated and inflamed, causing discomfort and even damaging the cornea. 

What are the symptoms of dry eye syndrome?  

One of the most common signs of dry eye syndrome is a gritty or sandy sensation in the eyes. You may also experience redness, soreness, blurry vision, sensitivity to light, tearing even when your eyes are dry, and an aching or heavy feeling in your eyes. 

What causes dry eye syndrome? 

Many factors can contribute to the development of dry eye, including aging, hormonal changes (such as during pregnancy or menopause), too much screen time, and environmental conditions like dry air, wind, and high heat. Certain medications like antihistamines, antidepressants, and blood pressure pills can dry out your eyes. Medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders can also cause dry eye.  

How can you treat dry eye syndrome?  

Treatment for dry eye syndrome will vary based on its severity and the underlying cause. Some common treatments include: 

  • Artificial tears: over-the-counter eye drops that help keep your eyes moist and comfortable 
  • Prescription medications: eye drops, ointments, or pills that improve tear production or reduce inflammation 
  • Punctal plugs: small devices that your eye doctor can insert into your tear ducts to prevent tears from draining away too quickly 
  • Lifestyle changes: lifestyle changes like using a humidifier or taking breaks from screens can help relieve or even prevent dry eye symptoms 

In conclusion, if your eyes feel dry and gritty, don’t ignore it. It’s critical to see an eye doctor to determine what’s causing your dry eye and how to find relief. If you’re suffering from dry eye syndrome, contact Giles Eye Care today. Our dry eye specialist in Portland, Maine can diagnose dry eye and recommend the best treatment for your needs. Don’t suffer in silence—schedule an appointment today to get the help you need.