Common Dry Eye Symptoms

Published on
April 17, 2023

As a local eye doctor, our primary concern is the health of your eyes and ensuring your vision is as clear and comfortable as possible. One common issue that many of our patients experience is dry eye symptoms, which can significantly impact your quality of life. In this article, we will focus exclusively on the symptoms of dry eye, elaborating on each to help you recognize and understand the signs of this condition.

Dry eye symptoms can manifest in various ways, and it is essential to recognize them early to address the issue effectively. Below is a comprehensive list of the most common dry eye symptoms:

  • Redness - Persistent redness in the eyes can be a sign of dry eye syndrome, as the lack of adequate tear production irritates the eye's surface, causing blood vessels to dilate and resulting in visible redness.
  • Stinging or burning sensation - Inadequate tear production or poor tear quality can lead to a stinging or burning sensation in the eyes. This discomfort can be exacerbated when exposed to smoke, wind, or air conditioning.
  • Itchiness - Dry eyes can cause itchiness as a result of irritation and inflammation on the eye's surface. Scratching or rubbing the eyes can worsen the condition and should be avoided.
  • Grittiness or foreign body sensation - One of the most common complaints associated with dry eye syndrome is the feeling of grittiness or having a foreign object in the eye. This sensation is due to the lack of lubrication on the eye's surface, causing friction and discomfort.
  • Blurred vision - Dry eye symptoms can temporarily affect your vision, causing intermittent blurring or fluctuations in visual clarity. This is particularly noticeable during activities that require intense visual focus, such as reading or using a computer.
  • Light sensitivity - A lack of adequate tear production can make the eyes more sensitive to bright lights or glare, often causing discomfort or squinting.
  • Excessive tearing - Although it may seem counterintuitive, dry eye symptoms can sometimes trigger excessive tearing or watery eyes. This occurs when the eyes attempt to compensate for the lack of moisture by producing an excess of tears, which can lead to further discomfort.
  • Eye fatigue - Dry eye symptoms can cause a feeling of fatigue or tiredness in the eyes, especially after engaging in visually demanding tasks or prolonged screen time.
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses - Contact lens wearers may experience increased discomfort or difficulty wearing their lenses due to the lack of adequate tear production or poor tear quality.
  • Discomfort during prolonged visual tasks - Dry eye symptoms can make it challenging to engage in tasks that require prolonged visual focus, such as reading, driving, or using a computer. This is due to the eye's surface becoming more irritated and dry over time, leading to increased discomfort and the need for frequent breaks.

How Can I Find an Eye Doctor for Dry Eye Near Me?

If you don’t already have a trusted optometrist or you live too far from our optometry clinic in Olympia, you could start your online search by typing in phrases such as "eye doctor near me," "optometrist near me," or "dry eye specialist near me."

Take Our Online Dry Eye Quiz

Take our dry eye assessment to see if your symptoms indicate that you are suffering from treatable dry eye disease /dry-eye/dry-eye-quiz/

Schedule a Dry Eye Evaluation in Olympia

If you are experiencing any of the dry eye symptoms mentioned above, it is crucial to consult with our eye care professional to determine the underlying cause and develop a suitable treatment plan. Early intervention can help alleviate your symptoms and improve your overall eye health. Schedule an appointment with us today by calling (360) 491-2121 to ensure your eyes receive the care they deserve.

Patients with dry eye visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of dry eye services for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.



Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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