These are the most common symptoms of dry eyes
1- Grittiness sensation and burning eyes that worsening during the day and in hot climate. Sometimes these symptoms may get worse in certain situations such as in air conditioned room, in air plane or after working on a computer for lfew hours
2- Foreign body sensation or feeling of sands inside your eyes especially when the patient blinks because one of the imporatnt function of tears is lubrication. Cornea surface is not smooth and mucin layer of the tear is very important t make blinking very smooth
3- Blurred vision which is transient and temporary and increases at the end of the day or with tasks that need visual focusing such as using computer or reading for few hours
4- Sensitivity to light which is called photophobia. Once the patient is out in day light, he will be sensitive to sunlight and start to tear and blink excessively and he will try to avoid the sun and day light
5- Itchy eye.
6- Red eye. It occurs mainly in moderate to severe dry eyes
7- Tearing.It is confusing somehow. How patient with dry eye will have excessive tearing and he still have dry eye. Dry eyes means that cornea is not covered enough with tears and due to neurological reflex or tearing reflex, there will be secretion of tears from lacrimal gland to overcome corneal dryness.Tearing will occur mainly in conditions with eye irritation such as exposure to sunlight, hot climate and winds.
8- Stringy discharge especially if it is associated with blepharitis.
9- Difficulty in wearing contact lenses with dry eyes. Wearing contact lenses in dry cornea can exaggerate the symptoms of dry eye and the patient will no more be able to wear contact lenses for more than few minutes. It is also too risky to wear contact lenses in this situatin because it might increase the risk of contact lens related eye infection or keratitis. To wear contact lenes in this situation, your you should treat the condition itself first, then try to use certain types of contact lenses that you can wear with dry eyes. Also you have to use wetting eye drops while you wear contact lens
10- Difficulty in night time driving. People with dry eyes can have glare and halos while driving at night and it can be difficult for them to drive at night for long hours. At night the pupil is larger than during the daylight and because the corneal surface is dry and not smooth, more lights that enter the eye will be scattered and will not focus on the retina and in this case this person will notice glare and halos especially from the headlights of cars and traffic
11- In severe dry eyes, corneal infection can occur. In severe dry eyes, the corneal surface is scratched. Multiple scratches or abrasions on the cornea can give a good access to the bacteria to cause infection and inflammation. Severe eye pain, blurred vision and red eye are symptoms of bacterial infection.