Dry eyes are pretty common, especially on windy days, in air-conditioned rooms or after working on the computer, but that doesn't mean you need to endure them. Dry eye treatments are designed to treat any irritations and soothe your eyes in a flash, so you can forget the discomfort and get on with enjoying your day.
What causes dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome (DES), also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), happens when your body doesn't produce enough tears to keep the surface of the eyes moist and hydrated. Some people are naturally more likely to experience this dryness, but a range of external factors, other eye conditions, or autoimmune conditions can also fall under the causes of dry eyes.
Working in an environment, with air conditioning, for example, can make your eyes more prone to feeling dry or irritated. You can also start to experience these dry eye disease symptoms after using a computer screen for long hours, particularly if you strain your eyes to focus on what you're looking at or reading.
The natural ageing process and hormonal changes can play a role in the quality of your tear production, particularly menopause, as well as taking oral contraceptives like birth control pills, or antidepressants, which negatively affect the tear ducts. Additionally, dry eyes can be caused by the side effects of certain drugs like antihistamines and decongestants, tear gland damage or after Lasik eye surgery, along with medical conditions and diseases, including diabetes, thyroid disorders, lupus, SjÃ¶gren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and vitamin A deficiency.
Sometimes, it's possible that wearing contact lenses for extended periods of time can also cause your eyes to feel a little dry. This happens because the lens on your cornea limits the amount of oxygen flow and dries out the tear film that's essential to developing your natural tears. It's a good idea then to take a break from your lenses or to switch to a silicone hydrogel contact lens for maximum lubrication. Moving to a daily wearing pattern can also work wonders, as these lenses, like everclear ELITE, featuring a thinner lens surface than monthlies, allowing more oxygen to reach the eyes, so they stay comfortable and hydrated at all times. Plus, you can also use dry eye treatments to provide speedy relief from the uncomfortable symptoms.
What are the symptoms of dry eye syndrome?
Usually, dry eye syndrome affects both eyes and will give you a gritty, sore feeling that gets worse over the course of the day. In more severe cases, it can continue for long enough for your eyes to become red and even temporarily cause blurry vision.
While no doubt uncomfortable, it's very rare for dry eyes to cause a serious problem and the discomfort can usually be resolved with over-the-counter eye drops or gels. However, if you're experiencing chronic dry eye or severe dry eye, you should visit a GP or ophthalmologist just to check that it's not a symptom of something else. If a severe case is left untreated, it may also lead to the abrasion of the corneal surface and eye inflammation.
Eye drops to treat dry eyes
One of the fastest and most effective ways of treating dry eyes is using eye drops. These help to ease the discomfort by returning the moisture to your eyes and are perfect if you need relief while wearing contact lenses. They're known as artificial tears because they mirror the makeup of real ones, meaning that the relief they provide feels both natural and soothing.
Typically, dry eye treatment options like Hycosan Eye Drops come in small bottles and so are easy to transport around, fitting easily into a pocket or a handbag. This is perfect if you lead a busy life and need instant relief from itchy and watery eyes while you're on the go. You can also get packs of single-use products such as Blink Intensive Tear Vials, which are even smaller and easier to carry around.
Using eye drops
Eye drops to treat dry eyes are simple to use, but in case you haven't before, we thought we'd put together an easy-to-follow guide. Once you've done it a couple of times, it'll feel like second nature!
Other treatments for dry eyes
If you have sensitive skin around your eyes then eye drops might not be the best solution for you, particularly if you suffer from blepharitis, an eye condition, which causes inflammation of the conjunctiva (the outer layer of the eyeballs and the inner layer of the eyelids). Blephasol gel or Blephaclean wipes may be a better approach for treating your symptoms and keeping your eyes feeling fresh and comfortable. To check which treatment will tackle any encountered eye problems or eye infections, make sure to reach out to your optometrist or eye doctor.
Opting for some simple lifestyle changes can also easily reduce recurring dry eyes, especially incorporating certain foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fresh fish, nuts, and fruits and vegetables, like berries, kale and oranges will increase your tear production, paired with drinking plenty of water, of course. Plus, quick tricks like applying a warm compress, trying a few eye exercises, investing in a humidifier to prevent tear evaporation, and reducing screen time will make a huge difference, too.
See our popular dry eye treatment products
Exclusive to Vision Direct, these powerful eye drops, made from natural, herbal ingredients, have a long-lasting moisturising effect. Ideal for dry, tired, or irritated eyes, each 10ml bottle can be used throughout the day, whether you're wearing contact lenses or not. The in-built dispenser also makes it super-easy to apply eye drops wherever you are.
If your contact lenses feel uncomfortable after being worn for long hours, these soothing eye drops are just what you need. The drops act just like your normal tears by moisturising your eyes, containing no preservatives for a natural and fresh feeling while putting a stop to blurred vision.
Using the same formula as the Blink Contacts Bottle, these vials provide a more portable method of offering your eyes relief from itchiness and any burning sensations. Each pack contains 20 single-use vials, designed for instant refreshment as well as to be compatible with all types of contact lenses.
These extra-efficient eye drops are ideal if dry eyes are particularly bothersome, providing fast-acting relief that will keep your contact lenses feeling super comfortable. This well-designed bottle ensures you don't waste a drop, using a patented delivery system to give you just the right amount of liquid each time.
When dry eyes are getting the better of you, sometimes you need a serious solution. Blink Intensive Tears acts rapidly, creating a layer of moisture across your contact lens that reduces irritation, redness and general discomfort. The result is optimum eye health and clear, comfortable vision, ensuring that your contact lenses work to their full capability.
This pack of individual droppers offers great value for money, helping you use just the right amount of solution each time. As each one is resealable, this is a great choice if you're on the go, allowing you to carry them around with no fuss, but giving you the choice of how much solution to use each time.
If you need any advice about how to buy your contact lenses or solution online, we're here to assist you via web chat, phone or email. Got a question about ordering from Vision Direct? Check out our handy how-to guides.