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Dry Eyes – A Common Complaint

Dry eyes are one of the most common complaints I hear at the eye clinic. Patients often tell me, “No, it can’t be dry eyes; I have tears running down my face all day!” However, tears running down your face is one of the most common symptoms of dry eyes. Other dry eye symptoms include feeling like something is in your eyes, a burning sensation, blurry vision, redness or even eye pain. These symptoms can sometimes make patients think that their glasses or contacts are not working, or that they need to keep their eyes closed just to be comfortable.

My initial recommendations for treating dry eyes are relatively simple. I recommend starting a good artificial tear drop (not one that says “gets the red out” on the label) four times a day, scheduled, whether the patient feels like they need it or not. It’s similar to putting lotion on your hands BEFORE they crack and peel.

Walking down the eye drop aisle in the store can be daunting, but several brands I recommend include Refresh, Systane, Theratears and Soothe. There are many good eye drops, and often it takes trial and error before a patient finds their preferred drop.

Patients are often surprised that such a simple intervention can cause such a vast improvement in the way their eyes feel. If you’re already using eye drops regularly and still have dry eye symptoms, stay tuned for Part 2!

Take Home Points:

  • Dry Eye symptoms include: burning, blurriness, redness, eye pain, tears running down face, feeling like “something is in the eye”
  • First line treatment is scheduled artificial tear drops four times a day
  • Good brands include (but are not limited to): Refresh, Systane, Theratears and Soothe