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HomeAnswersOphthalmology (Eye Care)dry eyesIs persistent irritation and discomfort a sign of dry eyes?

How to alleviate symptoms of dry eyes?

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The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At March 27, 2024
Reviewed AtMarch 27, 2024

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am a 37-year-old male. I have been experiencing persistent discomfort and irritation in my eyes, which I suspect may be due to dry eyes.

Kindly answer these questions:

  1. What are the common causes of dry eyes, and are there specific factors that might be contributing to my condition?

  2. Are there environmental triggers I should be aware of and address?

  3. What treatment options are available for dry eyes?

  4. Are there over-the-counter remedies I can try?

  5. Are there specific types of artificial tears or eye drops that are more effective for dry eye relief?

  6. Are there dietary changes, lifestyle adjustments, or protective measures (like wearing sunglasses) that can help alleviate dry eye symptoms?

Kindly suggest.

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read your query and understand your concern.

Dry eye disease is a common condition that occurs when your tears are not able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be inadequate and unstable for many reasons. For example, dry eyes may occur if you do not produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears. This tear instability leads to inflammation and damage to the eye's surface. Dry eyes feel uncomfortable. If you have dry eyes, your eyes may sting or burn. You may experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, while riding a bike, or after looking at a computer screen for a few hours. Treatments for dry eyes may make you more comfortable. These treatments can include lifestyle changes and eye drops. You will likely need to take these measures indefinitely to control the symptoms of dry eyes.

Causes of dry eyes- Dry eyes are caused by a variety of reasons that disrupt the healthy tear film. Your tear film has three layers: fatty oils, aqueous fluid, and mucus. This combination usually keeps the surface of your eyes lubricated, smooth, and clear. Problems with any of these layers can cause dry eyes.

Reasons for tear film dysfunction are many, including hormone changes, autoimmune disease, inflamed eyelid glands, or allergic eye disease. For some people, the cause of dry eyes is decreased tear production or increased tear evaporation, walnuts, and vegetable oils. Wearing contact lenses or having a history of refractive surgery.

People who have dry eyes may experience the following complications:

1. Eye infections: Your tears protect the surface of your eyes from infection. Without adequate tears, you may have an increased risk of eye infection.

2. Damage to the surface of your eyes: If left untreated, severe dry eyes may lead to eye inflammation, abrasion of the corneal surface, corneal ulcers, and vision loss.

3. Decreased quality of life: Dry eyes can make it difficult to perform everyday activities, such as reading.

Prevention- If you experience dry eyes, pay attention to the situations that are most likely to cause your symptoms. Then find ways to avoid those situations to prevent your dry eye symptoms. Follow the below precautions:

1. Avoid air blowing in your eyes. Do not direct hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners, or fans toward your eyes.

2. Add moisture to the air. In winter, a humidifier can add moisture to dry indoor air.

3. Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses or other protective eyewear. Safety shields can be added to the tops and sides of eyeglasses to block wind and dry air. Ask about shields where you buy your eyeglasses.

4. Take eye breaks during long tasks. If you are reading or doing another task that requires visual concentration, take periodic eye breaks. Close your eyes for a few minutes. Or blink repeatedly for a few seconds to help spread your tears evenly over your eyes.

5. Be aware of your environment. The air at high altitudes, in desert areas, and airplanes can be extremely dry. When spending time in such an environment, it may be helpful to frequently close your eyes for a few minutes at a time to minimize evaporation of your tears.

6. Position your computer screen below eye level. If your computer screen is above eye level, you will open your eyes wider to view the screen. Position your computer screen below eye level so that you do not open your eyes as wide. This may help slow the evaporation of your tears between eye blinks.

7. Stop smoking and avoid smoke. If you smoke, ask your healthcare provider for help devising a quit-smoking strategy that's most likely to work for you. If you do not smoke, stay away from people who do. Smoke can worsen dry eye symptoms.

8. Use artificial tears regularly. If you have chronic dry eyes, use eye drops even when your eyes feel fine to keep them well-lubricated.

I hope you find this information helpful.

Thank you.

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Gopal R. Damani
Dr. Gopal R. Damani

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)

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