That gritty, dry, tenderness from sore eyes can be so uncomfortable, and pretty difficult to ignore. It isn’t just caused by dehydration, though, and eye drops might not be enough to fix the problem. There are actually many causes of dry eyes – did you know that even hormonal changes such as the menopause can make your eyes feel gritty? Here are four other common causes of dry eyes, and how you can help to alleviate symptoms.
If you suffer from hayfever, you’ll know the frustration every summer. The itchy throat, tickly nose, and a stuffy head are bad enough, but when you throw in the itchy, dry eyes, it becomes a whole other kettle of fish. A pollen allergy isn’t the only allergy which can cause dry eyes though; pet allergies and dust mite allergies can also cause them. In fact, any airborne allergen can cause itchy eyes. Antihistamines and eye-drops can really help to take the edge off. If you’re unsure whether the cause of your eye problems is allergy related or something else, you’ll usually find it alongside other symptoms if it is connected to an allergy. If it’s a stand-alone issue, it’s more likely to be one of the following causes.
If the problem seems to go away and come back regularly, chances are it’s more to do with your personal well being than your environment. Tiredness can have a surprisingly big impact on your eyes. Not only does it make your vision blurry and your eyelids feel heavy, but it can also make them dry. This is because your eyes rely on your tear ducts to work properly, but when you’re tired you can become more dehydrated, meaning your tear ducts don’t have access to enough water to create the right amount of lubrication. If you’re tired and experiencing dry eyes, try to focus on rehydration to see positive effects.
Bad contact lenses
If you’re a glasses or contact lense wearer, you’ll probably know the frustration of dry eyes better than anyone. Wearing contact lenses which just don’t work for you, or wearing them for too long, can create the most repulsive grittiness. Daily contact lenses with extra hydration, such as the Acuvue Oasys 24 Pack, can make a huge difference. Daily contact lenses are far less likely to start seizing up, become worn, or become infected, like repeat lenses can. If you’re a contact lense wearer and repeatedly noticing dry eyes, try changing to a daily lense and see how much it can help.
From styes to conjunctivitis, eye infections can look horrible, and feel even worse. While they’re usually easy to treat, it’s worth visiting your pharmacist for advice, rather than trying to self-diagnose. Some infections will be easily treated with over the counter medication, but some might require something a bit stronger. On the plus side, it’s only a temporary problem, so with a bit of TLC, your dry eyes will be no more.
Eyes are sensitive and complex organs, so it’s not surprising that they can go a little bit wrong and become uncomfortable. Top tip: ensuring you’re always hydrated to keep your tear ducts working in tip top order is one of the best ways to keep dry eyes at bay.