Dr. Darren Wright, an optometrist in the northeast Nebraska town of Auburn, explains what brings it on.
“Dry eye is usually caused by some aspect of your eye not creating enough tears,” Dr. Wright says. “Usually that causes symptoms of a dry feeling, scratchy feeling, people describe it as feeling like there’s gravel in their eyes when they blink. It’s discomforting and can be disruptive to a person’s life.”
There are ways to easily treat the condition, Wright says.
“The good thing is, there’s actually quite a few things we can do, depending on the severity,” he says. “We usually start off by using some lubricants and moving on to some type of oral supplements and there’s even prescription medications that can really make a big difference and improvement in someone’s quality of life.”
Wright says it’s not something you just have to live with.
“Not at all,” he says. “In fact, most of the time, when people come in, we can do some things to really make it a lot better for them.”
Many factors may contribute to dry eyes, including: age, medications like antihistamines and decongestants, medical conditions like arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems, and environmental issues, like exposure to smoke, wind or dry climates.