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Dec 1, 2023

Itchy Eyes: A Common Symptom of Dry Eye You Shouldn’t Ignore

Itchy Eyes: A Common Symptom of Dry Eye You Shouldn’t Ignore

Dec 1, 2023

Have you noticed your eyes are itching more than usual? While everyone experiences itchy eyes at some point, it can be a sign of a more serious issue like dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that occurs when your tear glands don’t produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. Keep reading to learn more about dry eye syndrome, its symptoms, causes, and how to find relief. 

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome 

Dry eye syndrome can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms like itching, redness, irritation, a feeling like there’s something stuck in your eye, and even blurry vision. Some people with dry eye have trouble wearing contact lenses or staring at screens for too long. It might sound strange, but dry eye syndrome can also lead to watery eyes. It’s called reflex tearing, and it happens when your body overproduces watery, poor-quality tears to try to compensate for the dryness.  

Untreated dry eye can damage your cornea and lead to vision loss in severe cases. If your symptoms persist or get worse, it’s important to schedule an eye exam with your optometrist to make sure you get the right treatment.  

Causes of dry eye syndrome 

Many different factors can contribute to dry eye syndrome. Aging, certain medications, and medical conditions like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis can increase your risk of developing dry eye. Environmental factors such as dry air, wind, smoke, and air conditioning can also cause dry eye symptoms. Additionally, women are more susceptible to dry eye than men due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, menopause, or taking birth control.  

How to treat dry eye 

Fortunately, there are many ways to relieve dry eye symptoms and keep your eyes healthy. The most common dry eye treatment is artificial tears. These are eye drops that people can buy over the counter without a prescription. Other treatment options include warm compresses, prescription eye drops, and lifestyle changes like using a humidifier in dry areas, staying hydrated, and taking frequent breaks from screens.  

If you’re taking a medication that causes dry eye as a side effect, your doctor may suggest changing to a different medication. Adding more fish, nuts, and leafy vegetables to your diet (foods high in omega-3s) may also help with improving your dry eye symptoms and overall eye health.  

If you think you might have dry eye syndrome, our eye doctor, Dr. Sarah DiPonio-Tulchinsky, can help figure out what’s causing your symptoms and recommend the best treatment for you. She may suggest a thorough cleaning of the eyelids and lashes to remove debris and bacteria that could be causing dry eye or light therapy to improve tear production. Another effective treatment option is Systane®’s iLux²® device, which uses gentle heat and pressure to promote the flow of natural oils and soothe dry eyes.  

Contact us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about our dry eye treatments. With the right treatment and preventive measures, you can relieve discomfort and protect your eyes from further damage.