Why Are My Eyes So Dry and Itchy?

Woman suffering from dry eyes

Do you look at screens a lot during the day? Do you wear contact lenses? These are some of the many things that can cause dry eyes to develop. Keep reading to learn more about dry eyes and why your eyes are so dry and itchy!

What causes dry eyes?

At its core, the reason dry eye occurs is that your eyes aren’t producing enough tears or they are low-quality. There are many things that cause dry eye, including:

Contact Lenses

This is a very common reason dry eye develops. It is one of the main reasons people stop using contact lenses.

Certain kinds of contact lenses can make it difficult for oxygen to get into your eyes, causing dry eyes.


Anyone can develop dry eye but it is more common as people get older. This is especially true for those that are fifty or older.

You are also more likely to develop symptoms of dry eyes if you’re a post-menopausal woman.

Screen Use

When you look at screens on digital devices for too long, it can make you blink less. Blinking is a very important part of how we keep our eyes moisturized.

If you don’t blink enough, your tears can start to evaporate, causing symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

Indoor Environment

Indoor conditions can cause dry eye. Air conditioning levels, fan placement, and heating systems impact affect air moisture.

If there isn’t enough moisture in the air, this can cause your tears to evaporate and the development of dry eyes.

Outdoor Environments:

Dry and/or windy environments could increase your risk of developing dry eye.


If you’re a smoker, you’re more likely to develop dry eye syndrome. Smoking dries out your eyes.

The same is true if you spend a lot of time around people that smoke since you can develop dry eye from secondhand smoke.

Conditions and Treatment

Some conditions and medications have ties to symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Lupus, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis can cause dry eye.

Medications like antihistamines, blood pressure treatments, antidepressants, or birth control make you more likely to develop dry eye.

Eyelid Conditions

Eyelid conditions can cause dry eye. Examples include not being able to close your eyes while blinking or sleeping.

Problems with your eyelids can develop with age or after having plastic surgery. If left untreated, dry eye can cause corneal ulcers.

How can I treat my dry eye?

Different treatments for dry eye include:

Artificial Tears

This works best for minor cases of dry eye tied to eye strain. Frequent use of artificial tears or lubricating eye drops is an excellent solution. Finally, ask your doctor what type of eye drops they recommend.

Warm Compresses

Mucus, water, and oil make up healthy tears. Inflamed and flaky eyelids can clog glands surrounding your eye and cause dry eye.

Use a warm compress to unclog glands around the eye. Use warm water on a washcloth, wring it out, and press it along your eyelid to unclog the glands. Using this daily will prevent inflammation, even if your eyes are healthy.

Clean Eyelashes

Keeping your eyes and eyelids clean helps manage inflammation. Us a small amount of natural baby shampoo or soap on your fingers and massage it near your closed eye and eyelashes. It will remove any buildup.


Using screens for long periods of time reduces how often you blink per minute. While you work, make sure to blink as frequently as you can.

Eat Foods With Omega 3’s

Eating fish and foods rich in omega 3’s will help your eye health. This includes foods like salmon, tuna, sardines, trout, mackerel, flaxseed, and walnuts.

Foods rich in healthy fats help your eyes make more oil, keeping them irritation-free. If you can’t get more Omega-3’s through your diet, you can try a supplement. Talk to your doctor before doing this.

Stay Hydrated

Water is important for keeping your body and eyes healthy. Try to drink between 8-10 glasses of water.

Don’t Smoke

Not smoking keeps your eyes moist and minimizes allergy-related irritation. Quitting smoking is a lifestyle change that can make a big difference in all aspects of your life!

If these treatments don’t work for you, please schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. Schedule an appointment at Mid Ohio Eye in Columbus, OH today!