Are Dry Eyes Permanent?

man sitting on couch and putting in eye drops

Do your eyes feel like they have something in them? Are your eyes red and irritated most of the time?

These could be signs that you could be developing dry eyes. Having dry eyes is a fairly common diagnosis.

Millions of Americans have them. For people with dry eyes, it can be annoying and uncomfortable or it can be painful.

If you have dry eyes, it is important to understand the causes, symptoms, and if they are permanent. Keep reading to learn more about dry eyes and to find out if yours may be permanent!

What is dry eye?

Dry eye usually develops because your tear system does not work properly or because of environmental conditions. If you have dry eyes, your tears won’t lubricate your eyes.

This happens due to low tear quality or you’re not producing enough tears. Water, oil, mucus, and antibodies are the different components that tears are made of.

This combination is what makes your eyes stay healthy and lubricated. When something happens to the quality of your tears or your tear production system, you can develop dry eyes.

Also, if you have dry eyes, your eyes can over-produce tears to attempt to moisturize your eyes. These tears will not be the right quality that your eyes need, meaning they will lack essential nutrients.

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

Dry eye has many symptoms. Some common symptoms include:

  • Developing a dry, itchy, or burning feeling in your eyes
  • Having a sensation like there is something stuck in your eyes
  • Developing a sensitivity to light where you frequently blink or squint
  • Difficulty focusing due to your eyes being dry
  • Having abnormally watery eyes due to low-quality tears and overproduction

What causes dry eyes?

Dry eye can be caused by your health, medication, environment, or your lifestyle.

Environmental causes

These causes include being close to dry or hot air blowing. You may have drier eyes if you fly on planes more often or spend a lot of time outdoors.

You may also suffer from dry eyes if you have severe allergies.

Lifestyle causes

An example of a lifestyle cause is looking at screens too long during the day. If you use a computer or like to binge-watch TV, you need to practice the 20-20-20 rule.

This rule is quite simple. It involves taking a 20-second break and looking 20 feet away every 20 minutes. This helps your eyes refocus.

Health Issues or Medication causes

These causes of dry eye include clogged tear ducts, wearing contact lenses that are not clean or don’t fit the right way. You may also have symptoms of dry eye from medications.

Medications that can cause dry eyes are antihistamines, antidepressants, and birth control.

Knowing the cause of your dry eyes is important to determine the correct treatment.

How are dry eyes treated?

There are many options for treating your dry eyes. Make sure to talk to a doctor to figure out the best treatment for your dry eyes.

Some different treatment options are:

  • Artificial tears
  • Eye drops
  • Eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids
  • Getting temporary or permanent punctal plugs for your tear glands

Is dry eye permanent?

While dry eye can be chronic, it is treatable. If you manage it, it may go away.

Also, if it is caused by a temporary circumstance, like recovering from LASIK, it will go away. If dry eye is not treated, it is painful and can cause permanent damage to your eyes.

It can damage your cornea, which can lead to vision problems. This is very uncommon.

Do you think that you have dry eyes? The only way to know is by scheduling an eye exam. Schedule an appointment at Mid Ohio Eye in Columbus, OH today!