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The Symptoms and Causes of Dry Eyes You Need to Know

Dry eyes can be an irritating and uncomfortable condition that affects people of all ages. It can interfere with daily activities and reduce overall quality of life. Understanding the symptoms and causes of dry eyes is essential in addressing the issue and seeking appropriate treatment. In this comprehensive guide, we discuss the various symptoms and causes of dry eyes, as well as potential treatment options and prevention strategies.

Symptoms of Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can manifest in a variety of ways, and the symptoms may range from mild to severe. Some common symptoms of dry eyes include:

Itching and Burning Sensation

As per Healthline, one of the most common symptoms of dry eyes is an itching and burning sensation in the eyes. This discomfort is often accompanied by a gritty or sandy feeling, as if there is something stuck in your eyes.

Redness and Swelling

Dry eyes can cause the whites of your eyes to appear red and swollen. This is due to inflammation and irritation of the eye’s surface, which can also lead to bloodshot eyes.

Sensitivity to Light

People with dry eyes may experience increased sensitivity to light, particularly bright lights or sunlight. This can cause discomfort and difficulty focusing on tasks that require visual attention, such as reading or driving.

Blurred Vision

Dry eyes can also lead to blurred vision, as the lack of sufficient lubrication on the eye’s surface can cause the tear film to become unstable. This results in poor vision quality and difficulty focusing on objects.

Eye Fatigue

Eye fatigue is another common symptom of dry eyes. The discomfort and irritation caused by dry eyes can make it difficult to keep your eyes open, leading to a feeling of tiredness and heaviness in your eyes.

Watery Eyes

Ironically, dry eyes can also cause your eyes to water excessively. This occurs as a reflex response to the dryness and irritation, with the body attempting to produce more tears to lubricate the eyes. However, these tears are often not the right consistency to provide lasting relief.

Causes of Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can result from a variety of factors, including medical conditions, environmental influences, and lifestyle choices. Some common causes of dry eyes are:


As we age, our bodies produce fewer tears, leading to a decline in tear production and an increased risk of developing dry eyes. This is particularly prevalent in postmenopausal women, who may experience hormonal changes that affect tear production.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions can cause or exacerbate dry eyes, stated Dry Eye Directory. These include autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, and lupus; thyroid disorders; diabetes; and eye conditions such as blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction.


Some medications can contribute to dry eyes by reducing tear production or altering the composition of tears. These include antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapies, and certain blood pressure medications.

Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, such as dry or windy climates, air conditioning, and heating, can cause the tear film to evaporate more quickly, leading to dry eyes. Additionally, exposure to smoke, dust, or other irritants can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.

Contact Lens Use

Wearing contact lenses can irritate the eyes and cause dryness, particularly if they are worn for extended periods or not properly cleaned and maintained. Certain eye surgeries, such as LASIK or cataract surgery can temporarily or permanently affect tear production and cause dry eyes.


These are the symptoms and causes of dry eyes you need to know. If you have any other questions, make sure you let us know. 

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