Feb 1, 2024 | Dry Eye Syndrome

Gritty Eyes: Is Dry Eye Syndrome to Blame? 

Are your eyes feeling gritty, sore, or irritated? Do you constantly feel like there’s something in your eye but there’s nothing there? You might have dry eye syndrome! Dry eye syndrome happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears or when your tear quality is poor. Tears play a crucial role in keeping your eyes healthy and protected. When you don’t have enough tears, your eyes become irritated and inflamed, leading to discomfort and that gritty feeling.  

If you’re dealing with this issue, keep reading to learn about the causes and symptoms of dry eye syndrome and how you can find relief.  

Common causes of dry eye syndrome 

Several factors can lead to dry eye syndrome. One of the most common culprits is aging, as our tear production naturally decreases as we get older. Hormonal changes, especially in women, can also impact tear production. Dry eye syndrome can also be caused by medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and thyroid disorders. Additionally, certain medications, such as antidepressants and antihistamines, may have a drying effect on the eyes. Environmental factors, such as dry air, wind, and smoke, can also play a part in dry eyes.  

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome 

The symptoms of dry eye syndrome can vary from person to person, but they generally include a feeling of dryness or grittiness in the eyes, redness, itching, burning, and blurred vision. Other symptoms may include light sensitivity, eye fatigue, and excessive tearing (which happens when the eyes try to compensate for the lack of moisture). 

Tips for managing dry eye syndrome 

Looking for ways to manage dry eye syndrome? Here are some helpful tips you can try: 

  • Use artificial tears: These over-the-counter drops can provide temporary relief by adding moisture to your eyes. 
  • Blink frequently: Remember to blink frequently to help spread tears across your eyes. 
  • Be mindful of your environment: Whenever possible, avoid dry air, windy conditions, and smoke, as they can worsen your symptoms. 
  • Take breaks: If you spend a lot of time reading or staring at a screen, make sure to take regular breaks to give your eyes a well-deserved rest and prevent digital eye strain
  • Add some moisture: Consider using a humidifier in dry environments to help add moisture to the air. 

When to see an eye doctor 

If the tips above aren’t enough to relieve your symptoms, talk to your eye doctor about more advanced treatment options. Your optometrist might suggest prescription eye drops or tear duct plugs. Another effective treatment is LipiFlow, which is a device that uses heat and pressure to unclog the tear glands in your eyelids, restoring proper tear function.  

If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, it’s important to seek professional dry eye care to find lasting relief. Our experienced eye doctors in Liberal, Kansas are here to help you determine the underlying cause of your dry eyes and find the best treatment for your unique needs. We offer a wide range of treatment options, including LipiFlow, to help you find relief from grittiness, irritation, and other dry eye symptoms. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!