Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why are my eyes always dry and burning? "
Over the last few months, my eyes have become increasingly dry on an almost daily basis. Sometimes, they are so dry that they feel as though they are burning, and they often look red and irritated. This is embarrassing and painful to deal with. I have tried over-the-counter eye drops to keep my eyes moist, but these eye drops only give me a little relief from these symptoms. I don't think I made any changes in my lifestyle that caused the symptoms to develop. What is causing my eyes to feel dry and burning so frequently? Can an eye doctor provide me with a better treatment than over-the-counter eye drops that will relieve the dryness, burning and redness in my eyes?
I would definitely recommend going to see your doctor, especially since these symptoms have been so persistent for such a long period of time. You could go see your primary care doctor, or you could go see an eye doctor. Both should be able to help you. There are many problems that could be causing your symptoms, but by far the most common is something called allergic conjunctivitis, which is caused by allergic symptoms in the eyes on exposure to one of several different environmental substances that you might be allergic to. Common substance include plant pollens, mold, and mites. If you have evidence of allergic conjunctivitis, this can often be managed with medications such as antihistamines as well as working to limit your exposure to the offending substance. Another factor which might be contributing to your symptoms is overuse of eye drops. If you are using a eye drop designed to "reduce redness" the problem is that you can become gradually desensitized to them with chronic use, which can paradoxically lead to worsened redness of the eyes. Start by calling and making an appointment with your doctor at your earliest convenience. I'm certain that they will be able to help.
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