Signs You Could Have Dry Eyes
When evaluating you for dry eyes, there are certain symptoms and risk factors we look for.
Many patients with dry eyes experience some or all of the following symptoms, typically in both eyes:
- Stinging, burning, or scratchy feeling
- Gritty feeling; like something is in your eyes
- Eye redness
- Watery eyes
- Blurred vision
- Eye fatigue or tired feeling
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty driving at night
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
Some people are at a greater risk of developing dry eyes than others. If you fit into the following categories, you could have an increased chance of developing dry eyes.
- Age: Dry eyes occur naturally as we age. Most people over the age of 65 will experience symptoms of dry eyes.
- Gender: Women are more likely to develop dry eyes due to hormonal changes brought on by menopause, pregnancy, and birth control.
- Medications: A number of medications can decrease tear production leading to dry eyes, including antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants.
- Medical conditions: Autoimmune diseases like Sjorgren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus can increase your risk for dry eyes. So can diabetes and thyroid conditions.
- Contact lens use: Contact lenses can interfere with the distribution of tears over the eyes, although your optometrist can recommend specialty contacts if you have dry eyes.
- Laser eye surgery: Laser eye surgery like LASIK can interfere with tear production, although this side effect is often temporary.