When Dry Eyes Turn Painful, What Do You Do?

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woman wiping eyes from dry eye symptoms

While you’re working, do your eyes feel irritated? Do you find yourself relying on eye drops to get through the day?

These are two signs that you could have dry eye syndrome. When your dry eye starts impacting your life, it’s time to discuss treatments with your doctor. Keep reading to learn what you can do if dry eyes turn painful!

What is Dry Eye?

If you suffer from symptoms like redness, irritation, burning, or stinging, you may have dry eyes. The environment that you’re in can also affect how dry your eyes are.

If it’s too hot or too dry this can lead to dry eyes. Even spending too much time looking at screens can lead to symptoms of dry eye syndrome!

If your dry eyes cause you pain, it’s important to understand what’s causing your symptoms. From there, you can start to determine the root cause and how to treat it.


There are many symptoms tied to having dry eye. Symptoms range. They could include any of the following:

  • Itchy or red eyes
  • Experiencing a gritty sensation
  • Blurry vision
  • Becoming more sensitive to light
  • Feeling like something is stuck in your eyes (foreign body sensation)

Some patients may experience an overproduction of tears. This happens due to your eyes not producing enough moisture.

Dry eye will cause your eyes to produce tears but they may not be the highest quality tears. As a result, they won’t cover the surface of the eye, causing them to evaporate too quickly.


There are many things that can cause dry eye syndrome. Pre-existing health conditions can lead to the development of dry eyes.

You may also have an imbalance with your tear production system. Your environment could contribute as well, especially if you spend a lot of time under an air conditioner during the workday.

Certain health conditions and medications can cause dry eye. This could include:

  • Aging
  • A side effect of a medication like antihistamines
  • Having a condition that impacts your tear production like vitamin A deficiency or a thyroid disorder

In some cases, you could have a condition that affects how your eyelids close which impacts your tear production. When your dry eyes start affecting your lifestyle, work, and cause you pain, it is time to talk with your eye doctor. They will walk you through different treatment options.


There are many treatment options for dry eye, including:

Artificial Tears:

Artificial tears are great for patients with mild dry eye. Causes of mild dry eye include reading or looking at screens too much.

Lubricating eye drops or artificial tears can solve the problem and irritation. Talk with your doctor about what brand they recommend.

Prescription Eye Drops:

Prescription eye drops are an option that eye doctors may recommend if you have more intense symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Brands they might prescribe include Restasis (Allergan) or Xiidra.

Eye drops both lubricate and decrease inflammation tied to dry eyes. To see if they ease your symptoms, you need to use them for at least 90 days.

Steroid Eye Drops:

Steroid eye drops treat inflammation, which is an important part while treating dry eyes.

There are other dry eye treatments your doctor can suggest. They include: warm compresses, punctal plugs, meibomian gland expression, and strong pulsed light treatments. How severe your symptoms are and what’s causing your dry eyes will determine the treatment your eye doctor recommends.

Do your dry eyes hurt and cause you pain? Find relief by scheduling an appointment with one of the expert ophthalmologists at Stahl Eyecare Experts in Garden City, NY today!

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