Even if you take good care of your eyes, you’ll probably experience some common eye problems and irritations from time to time. It can be common to wake up with red or itchy eyes or to have days when your eyes just feel irritated. If you use a computer for work most days or are suffering from allergies, these issues can become more common.
Here are some pretty common irritants that can cause dry, itchy, irritated eyes:
Lack of sleep: The effects of not getting enough sleep can be pretty negative. Not getting enough sleep can result in redness at the very least, dryness, and general irritability of your eyes. If you cannot get enough sleep, try putting a cool compress on your eyes for a few minutes or using a moisturizing eye drop!
Dry air: We live in a dry climate. Dryness and dust in the air can also cause irritation, so moisturizing eye drops can help. Use them two or three times a day to keep your eyes moist. In addition to sleeping with a humidifier, you can keep it running during the day.
Allergies: Most people experience some seasonal eye-watering and itchiness during allergy season, or when they’ve been exposed to an irritant, such as pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust. Over-the-counter medications can be taken to control allergies during peak season. If you feel your allergies creep up, take one for a few days. It is also possible to purchase over-the-counter eye drops for allergies.
Skincare products: Have you forgotten to take off mascara before bed, or has your sunscreen run into your eyes? Most over-the-counter products are safety tested and won’t cause lasting damage, but can still cause irritation. Make sure to remove all makeup before bed to prevent irritation and if you get any skincare product in your eyes, simply flush your eyes with cool water for a few minutes.
Using devices: When you stare at the computer (or any electronic) for extended periods of time, your eyes can become tired. Take periodic breaks from your computer to avoid this. Take twenty seconds every twenty minutes to look at something at least twenty feet away for twenty seconds. This is often called the 20-20-20 rule.
Rubbing your eyes: Try not to rub your eyes or touch them without washing your hands first. If you must, wash your hands before rubbing your eyes. You can also use a warm or cool compress to soothe irritated eyes.
A good eye doctor will have someone in reception that is knowledgeable enough to let you know when you need to come in if you have any questions. However, if you experience pain or changes in vision with the above symptoms, then you know to call to schedule an appointment. You should usually be able to see your doctor the same day to see what’s wrong and find out what’s going on.
Do you have questions about your vision, how to prevent eye damage, or need to talk through an issue? Utah Eye Centers is happy to assist you.