6 Signs You Might Have Dry Eye Syndrome

Posted by: Missouri Eye Institute in Blog on January 3, 2024

Do your eyes frequently feel dry, gritty, or itchy? Do you experience blurry vision that comes and goes, eye fatigue or discomfort?

If you’ve had any of these symptoms, you may be experiencing dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that affects millions of people.

Dry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes aren’t able to produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly, leaving your eyes feeling irritated. While occasional dryness is normal, if you’re experiencing chronic dryness with symptoms that interfere with your vision or comfort, it may be time to learn more about this condition.

Keep reading to learn six signs you might have dry eye syndrome!

1. Your Eyes Are Constantly Itchy and Red

If your eyes seem constantly irritated and red, feeling itchy and bothersome throughout the day, this persistent discomfort likely points to dry eye syndrome. The lack of sufficient lubricating tears means your eyes feel inflamed as they struggle to stay moist and protected.

Rubbing your eyes seeking relief can exacerbate the irritation. Experiencing frequent irritation and visible redness is often one of the most common early signs that dryness has become a chronic issue requiring attention.

2. Gritty Feeling

If you experience a persistent irritant sensation like sand or grit lodged in your eyes, dry eye syndrome may be to blame. This gritty, scratchy discomfort is caused by chronically dry eyes and a lack of adequate lubricating tears.

When eyes become inflamed, and water content is reduced, the friction of blinking leads to a grainy, gritty feeling that seems difficult to wash away. A persistently grainy feeling, especially when you first wake up before using eye drops, is a sign that you may have dry eye.

3. Sticky Eyelids

Do you notice your eyelids feeling abnormally sticky or tacky? This annoying clammy sensation along the eyelid margins signals that a lack of tears is allowing mucus secretions to accumulate.

Experiencing frequent sticky eyelids upon waking is a clear sign that dry eye disease is making your eyes and lids uncomfortably dry.

4. Blurry Vision

Fluctuating vision clarity and intermittent blurriness throughout the day can indicate dry eye syndrome. When tears evaporate too rapidly or aren’t adequately replenished, the eyes dry out, distorting incoming light and impairing normal sight.

Struggling with constant difficulties and blurred vision because the eyes feel irritated and dry signifies that tear production has become dysfunctional. If you battle frequent trouble clearly focusing that seems connected to dry eye discomfort, a dysfunctional tear film is likely contributing to the problem.

5. Difficulty Wearing Contact Lenses

Dry eyes can make contact lens use increasingly challenging. As the tear film quality worsens, the friction of contacts becomes unbearable for irritated eyes.

Severely compromised tear production means lenses soak up all available moisture, causing extreme foreign body sensation. If wearing contacts is complicated or impossible due to severe dryness and pain, it may be confirmation that dry eye is behind the contact lens intolerance.

6. Increased Tearing

It may seem odd, but excessive tearing and watery eyes can also indicate dry eye syndrome. Even though more tears are spilling out, these reflex tears are of lower quality and can irritate the eyes.

As the eye becomes more and more dry, sensors in the cornea trigger added tear production, trying to compensate. If your eyes seem to tear up frequently yet feel irritated and dry, it’s a sign that corneal distress from inadequate tear function is behind the waterworks.

Do you think you may be experiencing symptoms of dry eye? Schedule an appointment at Missouri Eye Institute in Springfield, MO, today!


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