of people will have Dry Eye
in their lifetime.1
Do you ever...
- Have trouble wearing your contact lenses for long periods of time?
- Use artificial tears for symptom relief?
- Feel like your vision fluctuates throughout the day?
- Feel like your eyes are burning, stinging, or feel gritty?
- Have worse symptoms in the evening?
- Have trouble reading or looking at a computer screen for long periods of time?
- Feel like you are constantly blinking?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be experiencing symptoms of Dry Eye.1,2 Dry Eye is a condition where your eyes stop producing enough tears or tears evaporate too quickly from your eye.1,2 Among other things, tears act as lubrication, provide protection and deliver nutrients to your eyes.
What are the symptoms of Dry Eye?
There are many symptoms of Dry Eye, which can vary from one person to another. The severity of symptoms ranges from mild discomfort to acute pain, and in many cases, symptoms can affect your day to day life. Talk to your optometrist or ophthalmologist about Dry Eye, and he or she will ask you what symptoms you have been experiencing. The most common symptoms of Dry Eye include:3
- Blurry (fluctuating) vision
- Discomfort (irritation)
- Foreign body sensation (sandy or gravel sensation)
- Sensitivity to light
- Eye redness
- Sticky tears
- Swollen, red eyelids
- Watery eyes (including over-watery eyes)
- Tired eyes
Dry Eye is a condition that continues to get worse with time. It can progress from episodic (where it is only present under certain environmental conditions or during specific visual tasks) to chronic (where symptoms are consistently present).4 Chronic dryness can cause the surface of the eyes to become inflamed, which may reduce tear production even more. This results in a continuous cycle of dryness.2
Why does this happen in my eye(s)?
- Aging/hormonal changes (especially in women)
- Wearing contact lenses
- Having cataract or laser eye surgery
- Looking at a computer screen, mobile device or television
- Environmental factors (dry or windy environments, excessive heating/ air conditioning at home or at work)
- Taking certain medications (e.g., high blood pressure pills, drugs that prevent allergic reactions, some acne treatments, birth control pills, antidepressants)
- Some medical conditions (e.g., Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes)
If you think you have Dry Eye, you don’t have to suffer. To find out if you might have Dry Eye, take a quiz developed by Canadian eye care specialists. Be sure to discuss the results with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
- Jackson WB. Management of dysfunctional tear syndrome. Can J Ophthalmol. 2009;44(4):385–394.
- The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society. 2007 Report of the International Dry Eye WorkShop (DEWS). Special Issue. The Ocular Surface 2007;5(2):67–204.
- Nichols KK. Patient-reported symptoms in dry eye disease. The Ocular Surface 2006;4(3):137–145.
- Prokopich CL, Bitton E, Caffery B, et al. Screening, Diagnosis and Management of Dry Eye Disease: Practical Guidelines for Canadian Optometrists. Can J Optomet 2014;7(Suppl 1.):3-31.