Dry Eyes – Symptoms and Causes

Dry eyes is a condition that happens when the tears produced in your eyes are not enough to effectively lubricate your eyes. It may be because you are not producing enough tears or because the tears you produce dry up too fast.

Having dry eyes is uncomfortable and can lead to inflammation and damage to the cornea. Your eyes may sting and burn or itch a lot. This condition may be short-term or chronic.

You can treat dry eyes by making lifestyle changes and using artificial tears to lubricate the eyes. In some cases, you will need to use this for a long time or indefinitely to control the symptoms. This article explores the symptoms and causes of dry eyes.

Common Symptoms of Dry Eyes

Common symptoms of dry eyes include:

Itchiness or stinging sensation: Your eyes may itch frequently and you may feel a burning or stinging sensation [1]. The severity of these symptoms varies. Some people experience severe itching that lasts several weeks. This itching may cause you to scratch at the inner corners of your eyes and put you at risk of infection.

Redness: Your eyes may become red [2] due to the lack of sufficient lubrication. The blood vessels in your eyes become more prominent and the white of your eyes takes on a red hue.

Particle sensation in the eyes: You may feel like there are particles in your eyes [3] even when there is nothing. Sometimes it can feel like this false particle is moving around your eyes. This sensation is caused by dryness.

Light sensitivity: Dry eyes make you more sensitive to light [4. You may experience smarting pain when exposed to bright light or sunlight after being indoors.

Watery eyes: While this sounds contradicting, it is not. Dry eyes may cause the eyes to become watery [5]. Dryness irritates the eyes and the body tries to adjust this abnormality by causing the eyes to tear up.

Difficulty wearing contacts: You may experience difficulty wearing contact lenses [6]. The feel of contacts on the cornea can be painful or more uncomfortable when the eyes are dry.