Burning, watery eyes? They may be dry.

A complaint we routinely get from patients is that their eyes are burning and watery. They can also notice that their vision is intermittently blurred. This is made worse by doing a task such as reading, or looking at a screen, for an extended period.  Commonly the cause of this is dry eye.

 

How can my eyes be dry when they are watery?

 

Our tears provide some very important functions such as lubricating the eye, removing irritants and helping the immune system.  If the eye does not produce enough tears or the tears are evaporating too quickly, then they can become uncomfortable (stinging, burning) and can lead the eye to produce excess tears (watery). As the tears form a coating on the front of our eye, interruption to the tears can lead to blurred vision.

 

Activities that cause you to blink less (watching tv, driving) can lead to dry eye. This is simply because the tears are not being replenished quickly enough. Symptoms can also increase in environments with increased air flow, such as windy conditions or air conditioning. Some medications, for example antihistamines and anti depressants, can also contribute to a dry eye.

 

 

Luckily there are numerous treatment options. Artificial tears are usually the first line of treatment and are available over the counter. Wearing wrap-around glasses that fit snugly to the face can be helpful to prevent tear layer evaporation, particularly outside. For more advanced cases, plugs can be inserted into the tear ducts.

 

Dry eye syndrome is very common and can cause irritating symptoms and affect your vision. If this is you, make an appointment with one of our Optometrists so that we can get your eyes feeling great and seeing well again. Book an appointment now.

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