Do your eyes often feel dry and itchy? While this may seem to be just a minor annoyance, it is not a symptom you should ignore. Dry, itchy eyes can be a symptom of a number of conditions that may become worse if they are not caught and treated early. Here's a look at three possible causes of dry eyes and what you can do about them.
Poorly Fitted Contacts
Many contact wearers experience a touch of dryness from time to time. If your dryness is occasional and can be corrected with eye drops, then you don't have any reason to be concerned. However, if you're a contact wearer with chronic eye dryness day after day, this could be a sign that your contracts are not fitting you properly.
Contacts that fit too closely to your eye won't leave enough space for moisture to accumulate beneath them. It's possible that your eye was measured improperly, that your eye shape has changed since you were last fitted for contacts, or that your order was not filled with the correct size lenses. Continuing to wear the wrong size lenses could lead to a serious eye infection, since your eye is not being allowed to breathe properly. Visit your eye doctor (bring your lenses along), so he or she can check the fit of your lenses and prescribe you a better-fitting size if needed. Contact a company like A New Vision for more information on the proper fit and usage of contacts.
Are your nose and mouth feeling dry, too? If so, you may be suffering from Sjogren's syndrome. Sjogren's syndrome is an auto-immune condition that affects the tear ducts, mucous membranes and salivary glands. It often accompanies other auto-immune diseases like lupus, but it can occur on its own, too. Ignoring the condition can lead to tooth decay and eye infections. If your eye doctor or physician diagnoses you with Sjogren's syndrome, treatment may involve drugs to regulate your immune system and increase tear and saliva production.
Medication Side Effects
Many prescription medications, including those used to treat depression, anxiety, and seizure disorders, list dry eyes as a side effect. If you are taking any medications, read the labels and included safety information carefully. If you see dry eyes listed as a side effect, talk to the doctor who prescribed the medication. He or she may adjust your dose or prescribe another similar medication that won't have this side effect. If this is not an option, your eye doctor may recommend special eye drops to keep your eyes moist. Do not just ignore dry eyes, even if you think they're a side effect of your drugs. As with other causes of dry eyes, doing so could lead to infection or a scratched cornea.