There are so many symptoms and problems that can stem from having dry eyes, including blurry vision, pain, redness, and even weird visual effects. It's nobody's definition of a good time. And yet so many folks deal with it on a regular basis.
"Studies show anywhere from 30 to 60 million Americans suffer from some form of dry eye, especially in the winter months," Dr. Ming Wang, MD, PhD, of Wang Vision 3D Cataract & LASIK Center, tells Bustle. That's a lot of people rubbing their eyes and blinking frantically in an effort to see.
While there are quite a few issues that can cause dry eye, it's typically due to an oil problem in the eye, eye surgeon Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, founder of The Boxer Wachler Vision Institute, tells Bustle. "Specialized glands (meibomian glands) in the eyelids become inflamed and produce inflamed oils, which is common as we get older," he says. "These oils go into your tear film and voilà, dry eyes." This form of dry eye is usually treated by applying warm compresses to the eye area.
The second type of dry eye can be chalked up to insufficient tears, which is often remedied with over-the-counter eye drops. For more extreme cases, "there are other options to increase lubrication such as punctal plugs and prescription moisture-producing eye drops," Dr. Wachler says. Let a doctor know if you experience any of the symptoms below, so they can figure out the right remedy for you.