Dealing with dry eyes
Most of us get dry eyes now and then. But if your eyes constantly burn, or feel scratchy and gritty, you could have dry eye syndrome. If not treated, this condition can cause serious vision problems.
"You're going to be scraping your cornea and that can cause corneal abrasions which not only are very uncomfortable, but can cause scaring,” said Dr. John Swartzberg, head of the editorial board at the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.
A number of things we do can lead to dry eyes.
"Tobacco smoke or any smoke can aggravate this problem significantly,” Swartzberg said. “People who use hair dryers wind up drying their eyes. Over-heated rooms, fans that blow on your face, riding in a car with open windows, all of those things can do that."
If you wear contact lenses, talk to your doctor about the type you have and your replacement schedule. You may get relief by switching to glasses.
Dr. Swartzberg says over-the-counter "artificial tears" – preferably brands that are preservative-free – can lubricate and moisturize your eyes. But don’t use those products that promise to “get the red out.”
If things don't improve after a while, talk to your doctor. You need to figure out what’s causing those dry eyes.