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Dec 1, 2023 | Dry Eye Syndrome

Why Are My Eyes Gritty? It Could Be Dry Eye

Have you ever felt like there’s something in your eye that you can’t seem to get out? Or do your eyes sometimes feel gritty, like there’s sand in them? If these symptoms sound familiar, you may have dry eye syndrome. While dry eye syndrome is a common issue, it can affect your quality of life and, in some cases, lead to complications. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and when to seek professional help can go a long way in protecting your eyesight. 

In this blog, we’ll explore what dry eye is, its symptoms, common causes, and how to find relief.  

What is dry eye syndrome? 

Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or they produce tears of poor quality. Every time you blink, a thin layer of tears spreads across your eyes’ surface. These tears flush out debris and keep your eyes moist and comfortable. But if your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or if those tears evaporate too quickly or aren’t of good quality, it can lead to dry eye syndrome. 

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome 

Dry eye syndrome can cause a range of symptoms, including dryness, irritation, burning, itching, redness, sensitivity to light, and a feeling like something’s stuck in your eye. You might even have trouble with blurred vision or wearing contact lenses. If left untreated, dry eye can lead to complications such as corneal damage or infections. 

Common causes of dry eye syndrome 

Identifying the underlying cause of your dry eye syndrome is essential to finding the most effective treatment. Dry eye syndrome can have various causes, so it is important to schedule an eye exam to determine what’s causing your symptoms. Some common causes of dry eye include aging, hormonal changes, certain medications, environmental factors like air conditioning and wind, and underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Staring at screens or reading for long periods can also dry out your eyes because you tend to blink less during these activities. 

Treatment for dry eye syndrome 

Treatment for dry eye syndrome depends on the severity and underlying cause of the condition. One of the most effective treatments is to use non-prescription eye drops, also known as artificial tears. These drops can help lubricate your eyes and provide temporary relief from dryness and grittiness. 

You can also lower your risk of dry eye by making some lifestyle changes. Avoiding dry and dusty areas, quitting smoking, and taking frequent breaks when using a computer or reading can all help to improve your symptoms. Eating a healthy diet high in omega-3 fatty acids and staying hydrated can also help improve your overall eye health and reduce dryness. Other treatment options may include prescription eye drops, ointments, medications, or devices like punctal plugs that help to increase tear production and retention. 

Dry eye syndrome can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition, but with proper diagnosis and treatment, most people can find relief. If you’re experiencing any signs of dry eye syndrome, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with our eye doctor in Albuquerque. We’ll figure out what’s causing your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan that fits your needs. Give us a call to book an appointment.