Your tears are made up of a mixture of water, mucus, oils, proteins and salts - which all help to maintain good eye health.
Dry eyes is a common condition that happens when your tear production is impaired. Your tears work as a lubricant for your eyes and help to wash away debris. Tears also protect your eyes from bacteria, moisten them, and maintain a smooth surface.
The lack of lubrication from your tears can lead to your eyes drying up. This causes them to become red and sore. Other symptoms can include your eyes feeling painful and gritty, blurred vision and your eyelids sticking together (especially in the morning).
Dry eyes can often be treated easily with over the counter medications.
Who gets dry eyes?
Anyone can suffer from dry eye syndrome, and it's usually caused by external factors like windy or smoky environments. Certain lifestyle habits, such as drinking and smoking, can also increase your risk of developing dry eyes. It’s typically more common in people above the age of 50, and women facing hormonal changes during periods, pregnancy or menopause.
How common are dry eyes?
It’s quite a common issue. If it’s caused by environmental conditions such as the weather then it’s quite easy to avoid. It rarely ever causes enough of a problem to require medical attention, and it can usually be treated with over the counter medications.
If your symptoms are being caused by other conditions, such as hormonal changes, then you might be given other treatments alongside your dry eye medication to help tackle the root cause of your symptoms.
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What causes dry eyes?
Dry eyes can be caused by a mixture of factors, such as the weather or hormonal changes. These causes can include:
Smokey or windy conditions;
Excessive use of electronic screens;
Sensitivity to light;
What are the symptoms of dry eyes?
The physical symptoms will usually include your eyes looking red or puffy. If you’re suffering from dry eyes then they might feel sore, itchy and gritty. You might also notice blurred vision and an excessive need to blink.
Can dry eyes lead to other problems?
Dry eyes can lead to other conditions that might require further medical attention, such as conjunctivitis, abrasions of the corneal surface, corneal ulcers and vision loss. If you notice other symptoms that suggest that your dry eyes have led to an infection, such as mucus leaking from your eye or an increased level of itchiness, you should contact a clinician for guidance.
What medications are there for dry eyes?
Most dry eye treatments can be bought over the counter at your local pharmacy. There are some stronger prescription medications available, such as Ilube (acetylcysteine), but you’ll need to speak to a clinician first to make sure that these medications are safe and suitable for you.
Is there a ‘best’ treatment for dry eyes?
Like with most treatments, it’s whatever works best for you. If your symptoms are only mild then an over the counter medication might be the best option. If they’re more severe, then your best option might be to speak with a clinician who can prescribe you a stronger treatment.
If you have any questions around the severity of your condition, or the right medication for you, talk to us. Our clinicians can recommend the best treatment options for you.
Do dry eyes always need treatment?
You don’t always need treatment for dry eyes. Especially if it’s caused by your environment. If this is the case, you’re best off avoiding the irritant (smoke, for example) and your symptoms should clear themselves.
If your condition is causing you issues, though, then treatments are often recommended because they’re quite easy to get hold of, and aren’t going to pose you much of a risk of side effects. Although it’s rare that this condition can worsen, it’s always better to be safe.
FAQ: Dry eyes
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How are dry eyes diagnosed?
You’ll often know if you’re suffering from dry eyes without needing to speak to a clinician, simply by checking your symptoms.
Dry eyes can also be diagnosed by a consultation with a clinician if you’re not sure, though. If your condition has led to further complications then they might need to examine your eyes to see if there’s been an infection.
Do dry eyes treatments always work?
Usually, yes. But it’s about finding the treatment that’s right for you. At first this might be a case of trial and error, or trying to narrow down the cause of your dry eyes. Our clinician is always available for advice, and can help you to find safe and suitable options for you.
Can you get side effects from dry eyes treatments?
Yes, but they’re rare. You might experience an increase in redness and itching. If this continues for a little while then we recommend you stop taking the treatment and contact our clinician. It may be the case that you need to try a different treatment. You just need to sign into your account and send them a message.
Why should I buy dry eyes treatments online with Treated?
Talk to us about your health, and we’ll recommend tailored treatments to suit your needs. You can choose your medication from there, and how often you’d like to receive it from our pharmacy.
Once you’ve received your treatment, we’ll get in touch and make sure that it’s working as you’d hoped. If you’ve got any questions or concerns whilst taking your treatment then you can chat to us whenever you like.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any questions or concerns about your health, please talk to a doctor.
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