Dry Eyes

If you have dry eyes your eyes feel gritty, or prickly or sore. This is worse in windy, hot, smoky, dusty, air conditioned, heated environments. They will often look red. Age can cause the eyes to become dry, as can certain tablets. Some types of rheumatism can cause a dry eye (and often dry mouth at the same time - tell the doctor if this is you). Pollution might be another factor. It is important to avoid smoking.

Contact lens wear can exacerbate dry eye.

To treat dry eye, buy and try a few different brands of LUBRICANTS. They are all available "over the counter" at the chemist without a prescription. Most are also available on prescription [may cost less in some circumstances]. Use a drop from one of the bottles several times in a day, then put that bottle in the fridge while you try another brand for a day. You'll soon find one that suits you.

Brands you should try include Refresh, Systane, Poly Tears, Tears Naturale, Tears Plus, Liquifilm, Genteal and so on. Most come in a drop or liquigel(more viscous than a drop) or gel variety. Some have a preservative; others do not. Preservative-free medicines may be better for long-term use.

If your symptoms are worst first thing in the morning then use a LUBRICANT EYE OINTMENT or GEL just before you go to bed at night.
If you wake up with sore dry eyes have someone else check with a torch to see if you have your eyes completely closed when you are asleep. If they are not closed properly tell the doctor.

Once you find a drop/ointment that helps you a lot, use it as much as necessary to keep you comfortable.

Sometimes a further procedure is required e.g. temporarily or permanently plugging the tear duct drainage. This keeps the natural tears you produce plus any artificial teardrop you instill in contact with the eyeball longer.

Wearing glasses, especially sunglasses that curve around the sides, or a wide brimmed hat can help symptoms because these cut down evaporation of your tear film.