Did you know around 6 million Canadians suffer from dry eye disease? It’s no surprise then that after the release of this detailed blog on dry eye symptoms, we received a slew of patient follow-up questions.
So, rather than having to wade through one scientific article after another, we’ve asked our award-winning optometrists to break down everything you need to know about dry eye symptoms.
We’re diving into the world of dry eye symptoms, identifying the signs of dry eyes, how to address dryness around the eye, the number one long-term relief treatment, and an optometrist-vetted list of 5 at-home products.
Let’s begin by addressing some common questions about dry eye symptoms.
Recognizing Signs of Dry Eye Symptoms
In our digital world, it’s not hard to imagine that the eye dryness is simply a result of all of our screen time. And while digital eye strain is certainly a contributing factor, how can we distinguish between dry eye symptoms and, say, dryness around the eyes or dryness under the eyes brought on by seasonal allergies or atopic dermatitis? In essence, what do dry eyes look like?
How can I recognize the signs of dry eyes?
Dry eyes may appear bloodshot, with increased redness due to dilated blood vessels. The surface of the eye may also lack the normal glisten. Dryness around the eyes (or eye dryness itself), itching, redness, burning sensations, excessive tears, dryness under eye, and blurred vision are all common symptoms.
Can you describe the typical symptoms of dry eye in more detail?
Certainly. Dry eye symptoms often manifest as a feeling of grittiness or sandiness in the eyes, itching, redness, burning, and excessive tearing.
What causes dry eyes?
Dry eyes can be caused by aging, hormone changes, autoimmune diseases, inflamed eyelid glands, ocular allergies, environmental factors and increased near work/digital screen time. Dry eyes can also result from menopause, thyroid issues, prescription medications, and poor ocular hygiene. Symptoms vary and usually affect both eyes.
Can dry eyes cause blurry vision?
Absolutely. Dryness around eyes, allergies, eye strain, and eye infections can all cause blurred vision. If your blurry vision becomes sudden vision loss, and/or is accompanied by headaches, or pain behind the eyes, you should see your optometrist or go to the emergency room right away.
Optometrist Recommend Treatments & At-Home Products
For the best dry eye treatments, we consulted award-winning optometrists, examined benefits, drawbacks, and price, and accounted for a broad range of options as we wanted to give options to match lifestyle needs, budgets, and dry eye issues.
There is a ‘set-and forget’ option when it comes to eye dryness, so to help you on your decision making journey, here is what our patients wanted to know:
All of our recommendations are selected independently and are not influenced by commissions.
Long-Term Relief Treatments
What’s the latest treatment for dry eye syndrome?
There have been major advances in dry eye care in recent years, including prescription medications, in-office procedures, and sophisticated tear supplements.
If you struggle to wear contact lenses, have excessively watery eyes, irritated eyes, or any variety of other dry eye symptoms, Our #1 recommended dry eye treatment is radio frequency. This non-invasive technology offers no downtime, long term dry eye relief that is quick, and doesn’t interrupt your lifestyle.
5 Short-Term Relief, Over-the-Counter Products
1. Drops: Are Systane eye drops effective for managing dry eyes?
Yes, Systane eye drops are popular, hydrating eye drops that also come in a preservative-free form which is ideal for those who have chemical sensitivities or preservative allergies. These eye drops are recommended for people who have mild dry eye symptoms and they are often used for post-refractive surgery lubrication, such as LASIK and PRK.
Optometrist Tip: You can also use preservative free artificial tears to rewet all silicone hydrogel and soft (hydrophilic) contact lenses to relieve slight irritation, pain, and burning.
2. Contacts: Are there contacts for dry eyes?
Yes, certain contact lenses are designed to be more comfortable for individuals with dry eyes, such as silicone hydrogel lenses with high water content. In fact, contact lens selection is important as certain contact lenses can make dry eye symptoms worse. The Bausch & Lomb ULTRA contact lenses were chosen because they last longer, contain 46% water content, and are well priced contact lenses for dry eyes. Even for those not formally diagnosed with dry eye symptoms, the Canadian average daily internet usage being over 6 hours means we could all use a little help preventing eye fatigue, light sensitivity, redness, and more!
3. Gels: Is there a specific gel eye drop for dry eyes?
Absolutely. While similar to eye drops, gels are more effective as they are thicker (providing longer-lasting relief), making them suitable for individuals with more severe dry eye symptoms. I-DROP PUR GEL is a non-prescription product that’s preservative-free, and can be used up to 4-times a day or more.
4. Contact Lens Solution: What’s the best contact solution for dry eyes?
Like any product out there, not all are created equal. Rather than needing to determine what type of contact lenses you have (there are many options) the Clear Care Solution works for both soft and hard contact lenses. It is a deep cleaning formula as it is hydrogen peroxide based, and is preservative free, so it will be great for patients who have had sensitivities to other multi-purpose contact lens solutions.
5. Supplements: Can taking specific eye vitamins for dry eyes help alleviate symptoms?
Certain eye vitamins, like those containing omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and C, can support overall eye health and potentially reduce dry eye symptoms. Learn more about the research-proven eye vitamins that impact eye health.
Haven’t Found Relief Yet? Discover Real Eyes Optometry
We hope that this comprehensive follow-up to the Top 5 Best Contact Lenses for Dry Eyes of 2023 blog, has given you the answers and information you were looking for.
Understanding the causes of dry eyes and implementing practical solutions will help you manage them effectively. If you have any more questions about dry eye symptoms, understanding and addressing dryness around the eyes, or selecting the best contacts to provide relief, our team is always available to help you on your route to clearer, more comfortable eyes.
Book a free radio frequency consultation and take the last step needed for long-term dry eye relief.