What are the Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome?

by Sarah Markel Health Writer

Allergies, lifestyle, age and hormonal changes each can trigger dry eye, a reduction in the amount or quality of tears we produce. The National Eye Institute lists these symptoms as warning signs:

  • Stinging or burning of the eye

  • A sandy or gritty feeling as if something is in the eye

  • Episodes of excess tears following very dry eye periods

  • Pain and redness of the eye

  • Episodes of blurred vision

  • Heavy eyelids

  • Inability to cry when emotionally distressed

  • Uncomfortable contact lenses

  • Decreased tolerance of reading, working on the computer or any activity that requires continual visual attention

  • Eye fatigue

  • Sensitivity to light

These symptoms can have a major impact on quality of life. A 2015 population-based study found a close association between stress and depression with the symptoms of dry eye. If dry eye symptoms persist, make an appointment with an ophthalmologist to get an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment to avoid permanent damage.

Sarah Markel
Meet Our Writer
Sarah Markel

Sarah is an experienced medical journalist who covered psoriasis and chronic dry eye for HealthCentral.