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Why Do My Eyes Feel Dry & Gritty?

Oct 1, 2023 | Dry Eye

Have you ever woken up with dry, scratchy eyes or felt like there was sand in your eyes? If so, you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome. Dry eye is very common, and it can negatively impact your quality of life. If left untreated, this condition can lead to complications like corneal ulcers and vision loss.  

The good news is there are treatments available to help you find relief and improve your overall eye health. Keep reading to learn more about dry eye disease, its causes, and how you can relieve discomfort and protect your eyes from future damage.  

What is dry eye syndrome? 

Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, happens when your eyes don’t make enough tears, or your tears aren’t of sufficient quality to properly lubricate your eyes. Tears help keep the surface of the eyes smooth and clear and reduce the risk of eye infections. If your eyes don’t produce enough quality tears, they can become dry and irritated. This can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like itching, burning, and a gritty feeling in the eyes. 

What causes dry eyes? 

Many factors contribute to dry eyes, but the most common cause is aging. As we get older, our tear production tends to decrease, leading to dryness and discomfort. Other risk factors for dry eye include: 

  • Medical conditions like autoimmune diseases 
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause
  • Living in a dry, indoor environment 
  • Poor blinking habits when reading or looking at screens 
  • Wearing contact lenses for extended periods 
  • Taking certain medications like antihistamines or birth control 

Is it possible to cure dry eye?  

If you occasionally have scratchy or burning eyes, it could be a temporary case of dry eye caused by allergies or environmental factors. Temporary dry eye can usually be treated at home with artificial tears or simple life changes like taking more breaks from screens. In many cases, however, dry eye is a chronic condition that requires regular treatment and management of symptoms.  

If you have severe or persistent dry eye, it is important to see an eye doctor who specializes in dry eye treatment. At Lighthouse Vision, we offer a range of treatments for dry eye disease, including OptiLight, a non-invasive light therapy that can stimulate tear production and reduce eye inflammation.  

OptiLight uses gentle heat to warm the eyelids and help treat clogged or blocked meibomian glands. These glands produce an oil that coats the surface of your eye, keeping your tears from evaporating too quickly. When these glands get blocked, they can’t produce enough oil for your tears. OptiLight therapy helps clear these blockages and restore normal tear function.  

Looking for treatment for chronic dry eye near Orange, West Haven, Stratford, Monroe, or New Haven, Connecticut? Our experts in Milford have the expertise and equipment to determine the underlying cause and recommend the best treatment for your unique case. If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eye disease, contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help you find relief.