Dry eyes occur when tears are not able to provide adequate moisture to the eyes. Tears can be insufficient for many reasons.  If you suffer from dry eyes, you may feel a stinging or burning sensation in the eyes. 

You may experience eye dryness in certain situations, such as when being on a plane or in an air-conditioned place, riding a bike, or after looking at the device’s screens for a long time.

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms affecting the eyes may include:

  • The feeling of stinging, burning, or roughness in the eyes
  • The presence of sticky pus in or around the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Red eyes
  • The sensation of having something in the eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Difficulty seeing at night

What Causes Eye Dryness?

Watery eyes

Tears are a mixture of water, fatty oils, and mucus that helps moisturize and purify the surface of the eye, protecting it from infection.

In some cases, the cause of dry eyes is a lack of tear production. In other cases, the cause is the rapid drying of tears and an imbalance in the process of tear formation.

Lack of tear secretion

 The medical term for not being able to make enough tears is Keratitis. The most common causes of decreased tear production include:

Aging

Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, thyroid disorders, and vitamin A deficiency.

Highly dry eyes

Common causes of high dry tears include:

Exposure to wind, smoke, or dry air for even a long or brief period of time.

Blinking the eye slightly when focusing on something for a long time, for example, while reading, driving, or using the computer.

Masks

You won’t believe it, but wearing masks for a long time can irritate your eyes and make them feel dry. Mask-associated dry eye is an emerging problem in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic that eye doctors are now warning the public about. This issue can be relieved with small tips such as: Finding a mask that fits properly, refrain from rubbing your eyes and using eye drops.

Treatment

Dry eye treatments can be comforting, as they include lifestyle changes. If you suffer from dry eyes, you can use a humidifier to add moisture to your space and stay away from dry climates. Limit how long you wear your contact lenses and how much time you spend in front of the screen or watching TV.

Other possible treatments can include:

  • Eye drops
  • Artificial tear
  • Surgery
  • Home remedies

When to visit the doctor?

See your doctor if you have prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes, including red, irritated, or tired eyes. Your doctor can take steps to determine what is bothering your eyes or refer you to an eye specialist.

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