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Dry Eye Blog

Gritty Eyes

You know that gritty feeling in the eye when it feels like something’s in it or it just feels rough and scratchy? It’s not just your imagination, there are some sound medical reasons behind this feeling. If you have gritty eyes, contact The Dry Eyes Clinic At Gaddie Eye Centers and we’ll get you back to more comfortable vision.

What Causes Gritty Eyes?

Many with dry gritty-feeling eyesGritty eyes can result from a number of eye conditions and diseases, such as allergies, Dry Eye Syndrome, Blepharitis, and sunburned eyes.

Dry Eye

One of the most common causes of gritty eyes is a condition called Dry Eye Syndrome. As a person ages, the eye ducts which naturally produce tears, begin to slow down this natural tear production. A lack of tears causes the eyes to become dry, itchy, and uncomfortable.

Another symptom of dry eyes is grittiness. Many of our patients describe grittiness as a feeling that there’s a foreign substance in your eye. Others explain it as if there’s a tiny fleck of sand in the eye, resulting in a scratchy, rough sensation. Either way, it’s an uncomfortable experience. It can also cause some vision difficulties, such as blurry vision, inflammation, or frequent infections.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a condition caused by a skin disorder or a bacterial infection. A patient with Blepharitis typically experiences inflamed eyelids, resulting in red and itchy eyes, as well as a general irritation of the eye area. Grittiness of the eye is also a symptom of this condition.

Sunburned Eyes

 

Did you know that your eyes can get a sunburn? While we usually think of a sunburn as reddened skin that hurts and then starts to peel during the healing process, your eyes can also be affected by sun rays.

When you are over-exposed to UV radiation, the cornea at the front of the eye can develop a sunburn. The first sign of sunburned eyes is when the sclera, the white part of the eye, appears bloodshot. You may notice a sudden sensitivity to light and feel a gritty sensation in your eyes. Soreness and blurry vision can also occur from sunburned eyes.

Seasonal Allergies

Although not a direct cause of gritty eyes, seasonal allergies can trigger Dry Eye, a cause of grittiness. For those with sensitivities to allergens such as pollen, dust, pet dander, or mold, allergic reactions can cause allergic conjunctivitis. This often results in red, watery, itchy and swollen eyes, symptoms which also occur in patients with dry eyes.

How To Treat Gritty Eyes

The key to treating gritty eyes is first understanding the cause.

For dry eyes, may recommend using artificial tears, which can lubricate the eyes to relieve the gritty, itchy feeling. Prescription eye drops may work for you, since they increase the eye’s natural tear production. In some cases, the doctor may prescribe steroids for more immediate short-term relief of your symptoms.

senior man thinking about eye surgery

If your gritty eye sensation is from Blepharitis, a simple way to alleviate the uncomfortable feeling is to keep your eyelids consistently clean. Use a warm compress to soften the eyelids and gently wash away any eye crust formations. The doctor often suggests using a light cleanser such as baby soap to clean the area lightly, but effectively.

In case of a bacterial infection, the eye doctor may give you a prescription for antibiotic drops or ointments, or in more severe cases, steroid drops.

For sunburned eyes, eye drops can often give you a relief by moisturizing the eye and soothing the burn with a lubricating formula. In some cases, anti-inflammatory drops may be prescribed. The gritty feeling from the sunburn often fades on its own in a matter of a few days. If you find that the grittiness and discomfort last more than 2 days, contact The Dry Eyes Clinic At Gaddie Eye Centers immediately.

If you experience gritty eyes and have difficulty alleviating the discomfort, or if you have any questions about this condition, speak to us. can schedule a consultation and discuss the specifics of your case. Let us help you enjoy long-term clear and pain-free vision.

Spring Dry Eyes

woman applying eyedroppers, close up

Spring is a time of renewal, when the harsh winter is just a memory and the outdoors seem to beckon us to go outside. While spring may be in the air, so are allergens. Allergies during the spring season can cause dry eyes and have a particularly severe effect on people with Dry Eye Syndrome.

During the spring months, pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust can be found in the air. These airborne allergens can trigger uncomfortable reactions like itchy, red, and watery eyes, as well as sneezing and sinus congestion. At The Dry Eyes Clinic At Gaddie Eye Centers, we can offer you long-term relief for your seasonal dry eyes.

How Do The Seasons Affect Dry Eyes?

Although certain people with sensitivities to allergens may be more prone to allergic reactions, the seasons of the year can trigger these responses, too. In the winter, for instance, dry eyes can develop in people who live in climates with a lot of dry, cold air or strong winds. Sitting in direct aim of a heater may feel wonderful when it’s cold, but it can also dry out the eyes. In the summer when the heat is intense and people run their air conditioning systems regularly, dry eyes can develop from being in the direction of cold air.

A 5-year study found that 21% of the 3.4 million visits to an eye doctor during that time were related to dry eyes. Each year, there was a peak during April, proving that there is a likely correlation between allergens and dry eye cases.

Common Symptoms Of Seasonal Dry Eyes

The most common symptoms of dry eyes in the spring are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Burning
  • Gritty feeling
  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Stinging
  • Soreness
  • Watery eyes

It may seem odd, but watery eyes are a frequent symptom of dry eyes. It’s the body’s way of trying to self-heal the dryness by releasing excess tears, a condition called Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca (KCS). This condition gives some relief, but because these tears contain an inadequate amount of water, the relief is temporary and more long-lasting options are needed.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment with The Dry Eyes Clinic At Gaddie Eye Centers. We have the knowledge, years of experience, latest technologies, and effective solutions to give you relief for your dry eyes this spring season.

Relief For Dry Eyes In The Springtime

Close up of blue eye treats patients from all over Louisville, Kentucky who are suffering from seasonal dry eyes. Depending on your specific case and the intensity of your symptoms, the doctor may recommend daily artificial tears or lubricant eye drops to alleviate the pain. These can stimulate your eye’s natural tear production to moisturize the eyes and provide comfort. In some cases, prescription drops or steroids can produce similar results.

For patients with severe types of dry eyes, the doctor may talk to you about punctual plugs. These are tiny devices which are inserted inside the tear duct. They block your tears from draining out, which forces them to stay in your eye, coating and moisturizing the area.

Have you heard about scleral lenses? These are contact lenses which are made from rigid materials and contain a tiny pool of water, which provides moisture to dry eyes. Scleral lenses have a large diameter that covers the entire sclera (white part of the eye) without touching the cornea, so they can fit more comfortably. Because each person’s eye is unique, scleral lenses must be custom-fitted for each patient.

When It’s More Than Allergies

If your symptoms persist long after spring is over, and especially if they worsen, this may indicate signs of a more serious eye condition.

Examples can include any of the following:

  • Blepharitis (inflamed eyelids)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Corneal Abrasions
  • Dry Eye Disease
  • Styes (an oil gland infection that causes a bump in the eyelid

We hope you take the time to enjoy this spring season. Should you experience any visual discomfort or are naturally prone to dry eyes, contact and the caring staff at The Dry Eyes Clinic At Gaddie Eye Centers. We’ll examine your eyes and discuss your personal needs to create an action plan that’s right for you.