Lots of things can make them irritated (Picture: Getty)
Waking up with dry, red and itchy eyes is a horrible way to start the day.
According to Parvinder Sagoo, a pharmacist and health adviser for Simply Meds Online, dry eyes can have many causes, including your age, whether or not you wear contact lenses or your environment – whether that’s due to aircon, central heating or the pollen count.
Also, a lesser-known cause for dry eyes is actually too much screen time.
‘Staring at a screen for several hours a day can also cause dry eyes, says Parvinder.
‘The is because the tears coating the eye actually evaporate more rapidly due to long non-blinking phases.’
He also notes that, in some cases, dry eyes could be a symptom of an underlying problem.
‘Having prolonged dry or irritated eyes can also be a sign of an underlying health condition such as blepharitis, Sjogren’s syndrome or lupus,’ he says.
‘If you are suffering with dry eyes and no treatment options are working for you, then you must visit your GP who will be able to get to the root of the problem and advise treatment options.’
Dry eyes can have a number of causes (Picture: Getty Images)
How to soothe dry and itchy eyes
Limit screen time
We’re always looking at screens: if it’s not your work laptop, it’s your phone and if it’s not your phone, it’s the TV.
If you’re struggling with itchy and dry eyes, Parvinder suggests taking a break from the screen.
‘This is especially important for those who have jobs which require them to spend long hours looking at a screen,’ he says.
‘Limiting your screen time should help to keep eyes normal and moist.’
Keep your hands off
Now, this one can feel like an insurmountable task – but it’s important: stop touching your irritated eyes.
‘There are a number of reasons people may rub their eyes; out of habit, if they are tired, stressed or sometimes having dry eyes can promote people wanting to rub or itch the area,’ says Parvinder
‘However this can cause more damage and leave you with even itchier eyes.’
Clean your eyes
Instead of giving into the temptation of rubbing your eyes, Parvinder suggests giving them a gentle clean.
‘If your eyes remain dry and sore, try to wash your eyelids and lashes with warm water which should help to get rid of any particles which may have entered,’ he says.
‘If you are travelling on public transport or you’re out and about and find your eyes irritated, when you get in ensure you properly clean your eyes with warm water to remove any environmental particles.’
Use eye drops
If cleaning your eyes isn’t quite cutting it, eye drops might be for you.
‘Eye drops are a great way to help alleviate any discomfort and to keep eyes moist and healthy,’ saus Parvinder.
‘You want to opt for an eye drop which actually works to keep the area moist for longer periods of time.’
Speak to your GP
Finally, if all else fails, speak to your GP.
As mentioned earlier, dry eyes could be a symptom of an underlying issue, and may require alternative solutions.
‘If your eyes do not get any better after the above, you should book an appointment with your GP,’ says Parvinder.
‘They will help get to the root of the problem and advise other treatment options.’
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