Everyone has experienced itchy eyes at some point. If you’re currently dealing with itchy eyes, you may think it’s because of the weather or allergies. But did you know itchiness can be a sign of dry eye syndrome? In this blog post, we’ll explore what dry eye syndrome is, its symptoms, common causes, and how to treat or prevent it.
What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears or only produce poor-quality tears. Tears play a crucial role in keeping your eyes healthy. They act as a protective barrier, keeping your eyes lubricated and clear of irritating things like dirt and dust. Some common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include burning, stinging, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and, of course, itchiness.
What causes dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome can happen for many reasons. Common risk factors include aging, environmental factors, medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren’s syndrome, certain medications, and staring at screens for extended periods. Women also have a higher risk of dry eye due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, menopause, and taking birth control pills. If you’re not sure what’s causing your symptoms, it’s important to schedule an eye exam with a qualified optometrist. They can help you determine the root cause and recommend the best treatment.
How can you find relief?
Finding relief from dry eye syndrome is possible with the right treatment. For mild cases of dry eye, you can try using over-the-counter eye drops or warm compresses. Lifestyle changes like using a humidifier at home, taking frequent breaks from screens, and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated can also help.
If you have chronic or severe dry eye, you might need prescription eye drops or more advanced treatments. Our experienced eye doctor Dr. Tracy K. Giles at Giles Eye Care can diagnose the underlying cause of your dry eye and determine if it’s chronic. Depending on what’s causing your dry eye and how severe it is, he may suggest lifestyle changes, blinking exercises, light therapy, or surgery.
Dry, itchy eyes may seem like a minor issue, but it’s crucial to seek professional care if your symptoms persist. Ignoring these symptoms can lead to more serious issues down the road, not to mention the discomfort of dealing with constantly itchy eyes. Don’t wait any longer to find relief—contact us today to schedule an appointment for a dry eye evaluation in Portland, Maine.