According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, over 20 million people have dry eye in the U.S. This common eye condition can cause painful and frustrating symptoms, including blurry vision. The good news is that you don’t have to live with itchy, dry eyes. Read on to learn more about the condition’s symptoms, causes, and treatment options.
Can Dry Eyes Cause Blurry Vision?
Yes, dry eye can cause blurry vision. In addition to blurry vision, some symptoms you might experience include burning, stinging, and a scratchy feeling in your eyes. You may also have eye fatigue, redness, or stringy mucus in or around your eyes.
Other symptoms of the condition include:
- Watering eyes.
- Increased sensitivity to light.
- A persistent feeling of having foreign particles in the eyes.
It can be painful, but there are several treatment options to minimize symptoms.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
This common condition occurs when our eyes do not produce tears properly due to an imbalance of oil, water, and mucus. Decreased tear production can happen as you get older or if you have certain medical conditions, take certain medications, wear contact lenses, or have a history of refractive eye surgery.
The condition can also occur if your tears evaporate too quickly. This increased tear evaporation can occur due to eye allergies or exposure to smoke, wind, or dry air. You might also experience this if you blink less often or have a vitamin A deficiency. Eyelid problems can also lead to increased tear evaporation.
Can Dry Eyes Cause Blindness?
While the condition can cause discomfort and visual disturbances, it doesn’t typically lead to blindness. However, if left untreated or if the condition is severe, chronic dry eye can contribute to other eye conditions that might impact vision. Prolonged irritation and inflammation can damage the surface of the cornea (the clear front of the eye), leading to a condition called corneal ulceration.
Corneal ulcers can be painful and may cause vision disturbances, but with proper treatment, the risk of blindness is extremely low. It’s important to address symptoms promptly to prevent complications and maintain good eye health.
Can Dry Eyes Cause Headaches?
Yes, this condition can lead to occasional headaches. Dry eyes can struggle to focus adequately, particularly during prolonged reading or looking at screens. This can result in strain on the muscles of the eyes, leading to eye fatigue, which can then trigger tension headaches.
Additionally, the discomfort and irritation from dry eyes can contribute to overall discomfort, potentially worsening headache symptoms. If you’re experiencing frequent headaches along with painful eye symptoms, it’s a good idea to consult with an eye care professional to determine if dry eyes are a contributing factor and to explore appropriate treatment options.
Best Eye Drops for Dry Eyes
There are many types of eye drops on the market to help combat dry eye symptoms. The most common eye drop treatments include artificial tears, gels, and ointments. The key is to choose preservative-free eye drops. That’s because preservatives can irritate the surface of your eye, causing the delicate material to break down, which makes your condition worse.
Here are five highly effective prescription eye drops for dry eye:
- Oasis Tears Plus
- Refresh Optive MEGA-3
- Optase Intense Drops
- Systane Ultra (Preservative-Free)
- Retaine MGD Eye Drops
Latest Treatment for Dry Eye in Jacksonville, FL
Finding the right eye drops can drastically improve your eye discomfort. The key to dry eye treatment is breaking the cycle of irritation and inflammation by determining the cause of your condition. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kimberly Riordan at our Dry Eye Center in Jacksonville, Fla. to begin creating a treatment plan suited to you.