Dry eye syndrome, or chronic dry eye, is a very common condition. It frequently affects older individuals and women going hormonal changes like menopause.
It can also occur as a result of environmental changes, poor nutrition, or as a side effect from another medical condition. The good news is, most cases of dry eye are manageable.
The first step to managing dry eye is knowing if you have the condition. Once you know if you have it, you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment. Keep reading for 5 signs you may have dry eye syndrome!
1. Itchy Eyes
If your eyes itch a lot, you could be suffering from allergies. But itchy eyes are also associated with dry eye syndrome.
The difference between the itching sensation from dry eye and allergies may be hard to differentiate. That’s why it’s important to be able to recognize other symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
If you know that you have dry eye syndrome already, it makes it easier to determine if it’s the reason for your itchy eyes.
2. Experiencing A Burning Sensation
One of the main characteristics of dry eye syndrome is experiencing a burning sensation. This sensation is what differentiates dry eye from allergic conjunctivitis.
With allergies, itchy, watery eyes are the primary symptoms. Beware that if you rub your eyes, they are likely to only become more irritated.
With dry eye, you’ll feel a slight burning sensation even if you never rub your eyes at all. The last thing you should do if your eyes feel irritated is to rub them, as it only causes more problems and irritation!
3. Feeling Like There’s Grit in Your Eyes
Another common and specific symptom of dry eye is the feeling of grit in your eye. You may feel like you have debris stuck on the surface of your eye when there’s nothing there.
This symptom can be particularly frustrating. Though it’s frustrating and uncomfortable, it’s a good indicator that your eyes aren’t getting enough moisture.
4. Light Sensitivity
Light sensitivity can be a symptom of several eye-related conditions, including cataracts. It’s also a symptom of dry eye.
Dry eye can be exacerbated by hot, dry weather and damage from sunlight. It should be no surprise then that any kind of light can further irritate your eyes.
Always wear sunglasses in sunny weather and stay hydrated. This will help to reduce symptoms of dry eye and help you avoid developing it all together!
5. Excessive Watering and/or Mucus Around the Eye
Watery, mucus-filled eyes are another common symptom of allergies. When accompanied by the other symptoms above, it can be an indicator of dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye is often caused by an imbalance in tear production. Tears are made from mucus, oil, and water.
When there’s an imbalance, that usually means that your tears contain more mucus and oil than water. Your eyes also try to produce more tears when they’re too dry to attempt to make up for inadequate tear quality.
If these signs sound familiar, you may very well be suffering from dry eye syndrome. Be sure to see a doctor for a formal diagnosis and recommendations for treatment. There are several non-invasive treatment options that can ease your symptoms.
Tired of dealing with the symptoms of dry eye syndrome? Schedule an appointment at Shepherd Eye Center in Henderson, NV today!