Dry eyes are very common and usually not serious. It can be identified by itchy, sore, gritty, red, or blurry eyes. You may also have dry eyes if your eyes are sensitive to light or more watery than normal. If you’re over the age of 50, wear contact lenses, smoke or drink alcohol, take certain medicines such as some antidepressants or blood pressure drugs, or have a condition such as blepharitis, Sjogren’s syndrome or lupus, you may be more likely to get dry eyes. Looking at computer screens for a long time without a break, spending time in air conditioned or heated environments, and being in windy, cold, dry, or dusty environments can cause dry eyes.
To treat dry eyes yourself you can: keep your eyes clean, take breaks to rest your eyes when using computer screens, ensure that your computer screen is at eye level so you do not strain your eyes, rest your eyes by getting plenty of sleep, use a humidifier to prevent the air from getting dry, and, if you wear contact lenses, take them out and wear glasses instead to allow your eyes to rest. Do not smoke or drink too much alcohol, and avoid spending long periods of time in smoky, dry or dusty places, or in rooms that are air conditioned or heated.
It is important to see an optician if, after trying home treatments for a few weeks, you continue to have dry eyes, or if your eyelids change shape in any way. An urgent appointment is needed if you experience changes to your vision, for example a loss of vision.