Do your eyes frequently feel dry and scratchy? You don't have to continue suffering through this symptom. Read on to discover common causes for dry, itchy eyes and how to deal with them.
Poor indoor air quality
How is the air inside your home? Is it dry? Is it full of dust, pet dander, or other allergens? If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, you've probably found the reason for your eye dryness. If the air is dry, install a humidifier to add moisture to the air. If a whole-home humidifier is outside of your budget, you can purchase a portable vaporizer and set it up in the room you spend the most time in. Change your furnace filter so more debris gets removed from the air, and make sure you do a better job of keeping up with vacuuming and dusting. If vacuuming and dusting make your eyes feel even worse because you're exposed to the dust, find a friend or family member to tackle these chores for you.
Too much screen time
Do you spend the majority of your time staring at a screen? When you're looking at a screen, you don't tend to blink as often. Since blinking helps spread moisture across the eye, not blinking often enough can lead to eye dryness. Try taking a break from looking at your screen every 30 minutes. Even if you just get up and go ask a coworker a question, pour yourself a cup of coffee, or go check out your office's bulletin board, a few minutes away will do a lot of good.
Medication side effects
Do you take medications for high blood pressure, allergies, depression, or birth control? Some of these medications can cause eye dryness as a side effect. If you suspect your medication is to blame, talk to your doctor. They might be able to switch you to a similar drug that won't affect your eyes.
If you've been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, dry eyes might be just another symptom of your condition. If you have a family history of autoimmune disease, eye dryness could be a sign that you're developing one of these conditions, too. If you cannot find a simpler explanation for your eye dryness – like dry air or too much screen time – talk to your doctor about being tested for autoimmune diseases. A common one known as Sjogren's syndrome is known for causing dye eyes, nose, and mouth. Thankfully, its symptoms are easily regulated with prescription medications.
Talk to an eye doctor from a company like Valentine Eye Care if you can't determine the cause of your eye dryness yourself.