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Dry eye symptoms affect some 48 percent of American adults, according to a recent poll. And we ignore them at our own peril, as untreated symptoms of dry eye can actually lead to pain, ulcers, corneal abrasions, blurry vision, and in extreme cases, some loss of vision. There are a variety of causes of dry eyes—environmental factors, computer usage, older age, contact wear, and underlying health conditions such as Sjögren’s syndrome—but the signs are fairly consistent. One of the universal ones is itchiness, and it comes from lack of lubrication—either the eyes are not producing tears properly, or the tears aren’t the right consistency, so they evaporate too quickly, according to the National Eye Institute. And rubbing your eyes, which may be your natural instinct when they’re itchy, can exacerbate the irritation. (This is why you have tired eyes after a long workday.)
Another common symptom of dry eyes is a stinging or burning sensation. Although chronic burning, itchy eyes should send you to an eye doctor, you can relieve occasional symptoms of itching and burning with natural rewetting drops, like the preservative-free Clear Eyes Pure Relief, or with these home remedies for dry eyes.