It can be more than annoying when your eyes feel scratchy and irritated. The pain and discomfort can make even the most relaxing activity feel like a struggle.
Itchy, scratchy, dry eyes can have several causes, from seasonal allergies to a dry environment. They could also be caused by dry eye syndrome, a problem caused by declining tear production.
If eyes cannot produce enough tears, they do not get the natural lubrication needed to stay moist. The result can be irritation, light sensitivity, or blurry vision. Dry eye may even result in a sticky feeling or fewer tears while crying.
Dry eye syndrome becomes more common with age and can also be caused by hormonal changes like the ones that occur during menopause. Certain medications like antihistamines or decongestants can also be contributing factors.
A few strategies and treatments may help to relieve the symptoms.
If you spend a lot of time in front of screens, try taking frequent breaks. The 20/20/20 rule may help: every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. You could also try minimizing screen time.
Keeping a humidifier running in your home can help reduce dryness and contribute to a more comfortable environment for your eyes.
Several drops and ointments are available that can either directly add lubrication or stimulate natural tear production. Although these products are not a cure, they have the potential to ease symptoms.
The first step is visiting a doctor to get to the root of why your eyes are dry. If they can determine why your eyes are dry, they will be able to set you up with the best treatment for your condition.