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5 reasons why you’re suffering with dry, irritated eyes and how to soothe them

Wondering why your eyes are tired, irritated and dry? If so, this is how to fix the problem.

By LLM Reporters  |  October 1, 2021
Irritated eyes

This week marks National Eye Health Week, and the importance of eyesight towards the overall wellbeing, independence and quality of life of an individual is too important to be ignored. A common issue for many people, there are a number of reasons why you might be suffering with dry, irritated eyes. Below, Parvinder Sagoo, lead medical advisor and clinician at Simply Meds Online has revealed the reasons behind dry eyes and also offers expert advice for soothing them.

1. Your age

glasses
Elderly people often suffer from certain illnesses which can actually increase your likelihood to suffer with dry eyes, these include diabetes mellitus or rheumatism

Age is a huge factor behind why you might be suffering with dry, irritated eyes. If you are over 50 you may have noticed that, along with your vision becoming increasingly worse, your eyes are more itchy, irritated and dry and it may become more uncomfortable as time goes on. This is mainly due to the fact that elderly people often suffer from certain illnesses which can actually increase your likelihood of suffering with dry eyes, these include diabetes mellitus or rheumatism. Women who are menopausal also suffer with dry eyes which is down to the hormonal changes. 

2. Contact lenses

Contact lenses
If your eyes are particularly dry and irritated whilst using contacts, try to switch to glasses until it subsides

Contact lenses are a common cause of dry, irritated eyes and this is usually due to damaged contacts, contacts not being properly applied or lubricated, or an allergic reaction to the contact lenses solution. Allergies such as pollen and dust may also collect underneath the contact lenses and could cause the eye to become irritated and itchy. If your eyes are particularly dry and irritated whilst using contacts, try to switch to glasses until it subsides. 

3. Too much screen time

Overusing your hone can cause irritation
Try to limit your screen time, and if you have to work on a screen take regular breaks to give your eyes a break

Staring at a screen for several hours a day can also cause dry eyes. Switching from computer screen to phone screen to iPad can have a huge impact on our eye health and not only cause irritated eyes but may also promote cluster headaches from eye strain. The reason why your eyes become dry whilst looking at a screen is because the tears coating the eye actually evaporate more rapidly due to long non-blinking phases. Try to limit your screen time, and if you have to work on a screen take regular breaks to give your eyes a break

4. Your environment

External factors can affect your eyes
Pollution, pollen and dust can also aggravate the eyes, so if you are living in a highly populated city, or journey on the tube often you might find your eyes dryer more often

Environmental factors play a huge part in your eye health. Heating, air con, humidity and lack of fresh air will all contribute to dry eyes. This is especially true in the hot summer months when we have air con on, or in the winter when the heating is on more often. Pollution, pollen and dust can also aggravate the eyes, so if you are living in a highly populated city, or journey on the tube often you might find your eyes dryer more often. Hay fever season may also cause your eyes to become itchy due to pollen and dust particles entering the tear duct and causing your eyes to itch.

5. An underlying condition

eyes
Visit your GP who will be able to get to the root of the problem and advise treatment options.

Having prolonged dry or irritated eyes can also be a sign of an underlining health condition such as blepharitis, Sjogren’s syndrome or lupus so if you are suffering with dry eyes and no treatment options are working for you then you must visit your GP who will be able to get to the root of the problem and advise treatment options. 

How do I soothe dry eyes?

Eye drops
Eye drops are a great way to help alleviate any discomfort and to keep eyes moist and healthy

There are a few ways you can reduce dry eyes. The first thing would be to limit screen time or take regular breaks from the screen, this is important for those who have jobs which require them to spend long hours looking at a screen and this should help to keep eyes normal and moist.

Try not to touch or rub your eyes too often. There are a number of reasons people may rub their eyes; out of habit, if they are tired, stressed or sometimes having dry eyes can promote people wanting to rub or itch the area, however this can cause more damage. If your eyes remain dry and sore, try to wash your eyelids and lashes with warm water which should help to get rid of any particles which may have entered. If you are travelling on public transport or out and about and find your eyes irritated when you get in, ensure you properly clean your eyes with warm water to remove any environmental particles. 

Eye drops are a great way to help alleviate any discomfort and to keep eyes moist and healthy. You want to opt for an eye drop which actually works to keep the area area moist for longer periods of time. There are a number of eye drop options available at Simply Meds, including Systane gel eye drops which provides instant relief for dry eyes. 

If your eyes do not get any better after the above, you should book an appointment with your GP who will help get to the root of the problem and advise other treatment options.  

Simply Meds Online is now offering a same day delivery service for all purchases made before 3pm. Visit simplymedsonline.co.uk/pages/delivery-information.html for more information.