Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that happens when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or enough of the oily substance ‘meibum’ that helps prevent your tears from evaporating.
This can cause your eyes to dry out making them sore and your vision blurry. You may also notice your eyes look red and your eyelids are sticky when you wake up. You might also have blepharitis (inflamed eyelids).
Here are some things you can do.
- See your doctor or optometrist. They may give you medication to treat inflammation if you need it and talk to you about other medications you are taking that may be making your eyes dry.
- Use an over the counter medication such as artificial tears, gels or ointments.
- Protect your eyes. Try to avoid direct contact with wind, hot air, direct sunlight and smoke as these conditions can irritate your eyes.
- Avoid straining your eyes. If you work at a computer screen make sure your eyes are positioned correctly. Take regular screen breaks to avoid straining your eye muscles.
- A humidifier may stop the air around you becoming dry.
- Try a warm compress on your eyelids. This will help you to produce more of the oily substance that prevents the tears from evaporating.
- If you smoke, cut down or quit.
- If you suffer from dry eye a lot, speak to your doctor or optometrist.
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Last reviewed: December 2019