You might ask yourself “Why are my eyes dry and itchy; is it happening because of the weather or is it something I’m doing wrong?” We’re here to tell you that when it comes to dry eye symptoms it can be due to specific actions in your daily routine- but not to worry, we have solutions for you!
Experiencing dry eyes can be one of the most challenging issues to diagnose. Whether it be due to a medical condition, or simply from certain day-to-day experiences- dry eyes can affect anyone at any time. Dry eye is highly common within the population and in most times simply overlooked although it can usually be fixed by an easy solution.
What Is Dry Eye?
Dry eye is when the quality or quantity of your tears is insufficient which causes a lack of lubrication within your eye. Dry eye causes inflammation on the surface of your eye. The most common symptoms that are associated with dry eye are dryness, stinging, pain, burning, itching and sensitivity. Dry eye is commonly ignored and thought to be due to lack of sleep or air quality but the reason behind this condition is more complex.
Most Common Reason for Dry Eye
While it’s common for some people to experience dry eye and brush it off like it’s nothing, little do they know there are ways to avoid dry eye by following a few simple steps. Here are five of the most common reasons that dry eye occurs and with a quick fix you can hopefully reduce your dry eye symptoms.
#1 You work at your computer for hours without giving your eyes time to rest.
These days people are working from a computer, laptop, or phone whether it be from home or the office and it’s easy to get consumed within your work for hours at a time. Staring at any type of screen for a large amount of time lowers your blink rate which creates itchy and dry eye symptoms. Since you are blinking less frequently it means dryer and more aggravated eyes.
A great solution for this problem would be to implement the 20-20-20 rule into your daily routine. This rule consists of 3 steps, every 20 minutes focus on an object that is 20 feet away for 20
seconds. If you can properly utilize this rule, it will help reset your natural blink rate which will minimize the risk of dry eye and eye stress. Overtime this rule will become almost second nature to you and creates a new healthy habit within your lifestyle.
#2 You fall asleep with your contacts in.
In some cases, you may fall asleep with your contacts in and if you’ve been experiencing dry eye, it’s almost a given that this is the reason why. Since your contacts must stick to your corneas it can cause irritation and dryness if left in overnight. Some contacts are approved for overnight wear but can still negatively affect your eyes. Even if your contacts are approved for sleep you should still consider that your eyes will become more parched after spending hours without the proper oxygen and nutrients it needs.
It’s simple, the best solution to avoid dry eyes is to take out your contacts before you are planning to go to sleep or rest your eyes.
#3 Certain medications can cause your eyes to dry out.
It’s highly common for certain medications to cause dry eye and eye irritation. Some of these medications include, antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy to relieve some of the symptoms associated with menopause, medication for anxiety and more.
If you’ve been noticing that you’re experiencing dry eye after recently being on new medication, it’s highly recommended to speak to your doctor. By speaking with a medical professional, you will receive accurate details regarding your symptoms and can discuss any other options available for you to avoid dry eye symptoms.
#4 You don’t wear sunglasses when it’s windy.
You may think to yourself “I need to wear sunglasses only if it’s sunny” but that’s not always the case. Windy environments can increase tear evaporation which can make your already dry eyes even drier.
An ideal solution if you’ve been experiencing dry eyes in windy environments would be to always wear your sunglasses when you go out in these conditions. The optimal glasses would be the ones that wrap around to protect your eyes from every angle.
#5 You use eye drops that promise to reduce redness.
Last but certainly not least, you use eye drops to “reduce eye redness”. Some eye drops are specifically meant to eliminate as much redness as possible, but this is only for short periods of time. If overused, you can expect the redness to get much worse as the medication wears off. There are certain preservatives in those eye drops that can irritate the eyes surface which promotes more dryness.
If you’ve been using eye drops to reduce your eye redness but have unfortunately been experiencing excessive eye dryness, you should talk to your doctor about alternative options to reduce eye redness in a safe way.
Dry eye symptoms can affect anyone at any time, in some cases it can affect you worse than others.
Since dry eye condition is known to happen to most people, in some cases more severe than others, it’s important to take a step back and re-evaluate your symptoms. Whether you’re experiencing dryness due to taking certain medications that cause dry eye side effects or simply because it’s unintentionally caused by leaving your contacts in overnight, or also overusing your eye drops, it is crucial to pinpoint those specific symptoms to create an effective treatment plan. This plan will help you avoid any dry eye symptoms from happening or reoccurring in the future while also avoiding any additional dry eye side effects down the road which can create additional medical issues.