What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?

Our eyes need tears to stay healthy, but if they produce tears inadequately or evaporate quickly, dry eye occurs. Dry eye symptoms can appear from mild to severe. Different factors such as age, gender, eyelid problems, medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle heighten the risk for dry eyes. Therefore, knowing what causes dry eyes is essential to carry out the proper treatment approach. Learn more about its symptoms, how to manage them, and the possible treatment options.

Common symptoms

  • Stinging and burning sensation
  • Blurred vision when reading
  • Scratchy or gritty feeling
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Strings of mucus around the eyes
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
  • Teary eyes

Others also experience the following:

  • Itchiness in the corners of the eye
  • Double vision
  • Tired eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Intense pain

Chronic symptoms may lead to behavior problems such as anxiety, anger, and frustration, for some find it difficult to perform their daily tasks.

Home remedies to relieve symptoms

Simple home remedies such as resting the eye, blinking exercises, and getting enough sleep help temporarily relieve symptoms for mild cases. Doctors also prescribe eye drops that alleviate red eyes or gels and ointments that lubricate the eye.

Treatment approaches

Treatment options depend on the cause of dry eye. It may involve adding or conserving tears, helping the eye produce tears, and treating underlying causes. Doctors also treat underlying conditions depending on the illness. More advanced solutions are available for dry eye management, including itchy eyes treatment.

For mild cases, over-the-counter artificial tears are available for use before doing activities that tend to worsen symptoms. Another temporary solution is blocking the tear ducts for the tears to stay within the eyes and prevent dryness. It uses gel-like plugs or silicone, but a more permanent solution would be surgery to close the tear ducts.

Lifestyle changes

A healthy lifestyle is beneficial for one’s overall health. However, some habits help improve the functioning of the tear glands, such as a diet rich in essential fatty acids. These include salmon, tuna, and other fatty fish, fish oil supplements, flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and palm and soybean oils. It also helps to consume foods rich in vitamins A, B12, and D. Limiting alcohol intake, drinking more water, and quitting smoking also reduces the risk of experiencing dry eye.


There are simple ways to prevent dry eye, including avoiding places with a lot of air movement. This means avoiding exposure to strong fans or hair dryers by wearing sunglasses. On the other hand, it helps to keep the air in a home moist by using a humidifier during winter to keep the eyes from drying.


Dry eyes can cause discomfort, limiting a person from doing daily activities. While there are various treatment options to address this condition, it helps to practice habits that keep the body healthy. Instant remedies are there for mild symptoms, but it is still best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis, care, and treatment.

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