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What Is Dry Eye and What Are the Symptoms?

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If you experience eye irritation on a regular basis, you may have a condition known as dry eye.

Today we’re going to explain it by looking at dry eye causes and dry eye symptoms. If you’re going to deal with your dry eye and improve your quality of life, it starts with an understanding of what you’re dealing with. Keep reading, and we’ll help clear it up for you.

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eyes occur when the glands behind your top eyelids don’t produce enough tears, or they evaporate too quickly. When everything functions normally, tears spread across your eye each time you blink, then enter your tear ducts to drain away. 

There are a number of dry eye causes ranging from being outside in the wind to fatigue. Sometimes medications can cause dry eyes, as can staring at a computer screen for too long. If you have an eyelid disorder or you’ve recently had laser eye surgery, dry eye can result as well.

woman working on the laptop and rubbing her dry eyes

Dry Eye Symptoms

The symptoms of dry eye are usually fairly simple to diagnose. In addition to simply being uncomfortable, you could have a stinging, itchy, or gritty sensation in the eyes. 

Sometimes it can feel like there’s something in your eye and, as you rub them, it can lead to fluctuating vision and a burning sensation. If the eye is particularly dry, you may end up producing more tears that roll down your face. 

Treating Dry Eye

Your doctor will be able to diagnose dry eye with a simple eye examination. With this, they can measure how many tears your eyelids produce, as well as how fast they’re evaporating. During the examination, they may discover a physical cause for your dry eye.

They’ll also ask about your use of medications, whether or not you smoke, and the environments you spend time in. This is to determine if outside factors are the root cause of dry eye.

Depending on the cause and severity of your dry eye, there are a number of different treatments on offer. Artificial tears, eye drops, and ointments are all popular methods for combatting the symptoms of dry eye. 

If it’s determined that environmental reasons are the cause of your dry eye, you may benefit from a humidifier. Sunglasses may be recommended during outdoor activities and eye protectors for those that spend a lot of time at the computer.

Get Your Eyes Back to Normal

Now that we’ve helped answer the question, “what is dry eye”, it’s time to tell you how to tackle it. Don’t let your dry eye symptoms affect the way you live your life. Get an eye examination from one of SW Calgary’s top optometrists. 

At Focus West Optometry, we offer comprehensive eye exams that get to the root of your eye issues. Book your appointment today and stop dry eye in its tracks.

Written by Focus West Optometry

Welcome to Focus West Optometry! Since our founding in 1997, our team has been proud to serve the Calgary community and provide comprehensive eye care for the whole family. We offer a wide range of eye care services, including addressing dry eyes, an extensive optical boutique, and innovative technology to make your visit as efficient as possible.

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