Dry Eyes: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

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Dry eyes are a common condition that occurs when your eyes are not being lubricated as well as they should be - this happens when the right amount of tears are not being produced. As a result, your eyes may feel uncomfortable and sore which can affect day to day living as well as how you cope at work. Luckily, there are treatments available for dry eyes that can ease discomfort.

Read on to find out all you need to know about why you may be suffering from dry eyes, and what you can do to solve it.


Dry eye symptoms will usually affect both eyes, most commonly in the form of irritation and soreness. Studies have found that dry eyes affect around 15 to 33% of people aged over 65, but no age range is immune from symptoms. They can include:

  • Itchy, sore and gritty eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Excessive watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity


The elements that make up tears -water, oils and mucus- are important in keeping the surface of the eye clear and infection-free. However, when tears are not produced at the usual rate this can make your eyes dry, just as an increase in tear evaporation can too - the medical name for dry eyes is also referred to as keratoconjunctivitis sicca.

Other common causes include:

  • Ageing
  • Eye infections
  • Damage to the surface of your eye
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Blurred vision


  • Visit your optician who can help with a diagnosis - as experts in all thing eye-related your optician should be the first port of call
  • Add moisture to the air through a humidifier
  • Wear sunglasses on windy days or when taking part in activities such as cycling
  • Take regular breaks when reading, starting at screens or any task the requires visual concentration
  • Stop smoking - smoke can encourage your eyes to dry out
  • Use eye drops - these act as artificial tears and often provide quick relief

If dry eyes are causing you problems, it’s a good idea to seek help from a professional. Here at David Paul Opticians , based in Berkhamsted, our dedicated team are on hand to offer expert eye care using the latest technology for diagnosis. Once we have diagnosed the problem or identified lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your symptoms, our opticians will work with you to improve the health of your eyes. Get in touch today to book your appointment and find out how we can help.