What are the symptoms of Dry Eyes?
If your eyes don’t produce enough tears, the quality of the tears isn’t good enough or they dry up too quickly, it may not be enough to keep your eyes moist and healthy.
Dry eyes can feel itchy, sore, and like something is stuck inside them. You may notice that your eyes are red, your vision is blurry or that you are more sensitive to light. Your eyes might also be watering more than usual as your eye tries to overcompensate.
What causes Dry Eyes?
Your eyes can dry out due to your environment, for example, if it’s windy, cold, hot, dry or dusty, or from air conditioning or heating. It can also be caused by your lifestyle such as not getting enough sleep, spending long periods looking at computer screens, smoking or drinking alcohol.
You’re more likely to get dry eyes if you wear contact lenses or if you take certain medicines such as some antidepressants, or blood pressure medication. Dry eyes are more common as you get older, especially after the age of 50.
Dry eyes can also be a symptom of some conditions that cause inflammation in your eyes, or some autoimmune diseases.
What are Artificial Tears?
Artificial tears are eyedrops that lubricate the outer surface of your eyes and help keep them moist to help with irritation.
Some types of artificial eyedrops also help with healing the surface of your eyes and others stop them from drying out too quickly. Artificial tears can be used to help relieve the irritation caused by some conditions such as allergies or infections. For example, you might need artificial tears for conjunctivitis (red or pink eye). We can help find the right type for you.
If you need to use artificial tears, it’s important that you closely follow the directions from the manufacturer that come with your eye drops to understand how and how often to use them and how to store them safely. Different brands and types may have slightly different instructions.
The main points to remember are:
- Always check the expiry date on your eye drops. Never use medications that are past their expiry date or have been open too long. You may need to wait before putting your contact lenses back in after you have applied the eye drops.
- Make sure you have taken out your contact lenses before you start (unless it’s a type specifically meant for use with contact lenses).
- Hygiene is really important when dealing with your eyes. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before you start and be careful not to touch the dropper with your hands or let it touch your eyes.
- If you are using other eye treatments, wait 5-10 minutes in-between medication.
- To store your eye drops check the advice of the manufacturer. Some need to be stored in the fridge and others can be kept at room temperature.
Worried about your eye health?
It’s always best to get these things checked,
and our expert team are on hand to help.