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Your Eyes Can’t Focus? It Could Be Dry Eye!

photo of woman using laptopYou have been working on a report for weeks and your deadline is tomorrow morning. It’s the end of a long day at the office, and you need to check the numbers one more time. When you do, the figures on the spreadsheet appear blurry, and you just can’t get your eyes to focus.

But why? You recently had your eyes examined and the optometrist assured you that your current contact lens prescription is fine. What could be wrong with your eyes?

Why Can’t Your Eyes Focus?

Many patients come to us at with similar complaints about eye focus problems. After examining their eyes, we often diagnose them with dry eye syndrome.

When working long hours on the computer or spending a significant amount of time staring at a mobile phone screen, the eye’s blink rate decreases significantly, causing the protective tear film that covers the eye to evaporate faster. To retain visual acuity, the tear film needs to spread smoothly and evenly over the eye surface. Insufficient fluid makes this impossible.

What is Dry Eye?

With people spending more and more hours on digital devices, the increasing prevalence of dry eye is not surprising. As mentioned earlier, dry eye occurs when tears don’t provide sufficient lubrication to the eye or are of poor quality.

Mild dry eye can affect up to 50% of the adult population in the USA, with more than 16 million adults suffering from severe dry eye.

Dry eye can be caused by infrequent blinking, hot and dry air, certain medical conditions, medications, eyelid problems, or damaged tear glands. Age is another factor, as tear production decreases with age. Long-term use of contact lenses is another possible cause. Furthermore, simply being exposed to today’s polluted air can make your eyes feel very dry.

Additional symptoms of dry eye include redness of the eyes, itchy eyes, a burning sensation in the eyes, eye fatigue, and increased sensitivity to light.

What Do Tears Have to Do With Eye Focus?

Poor tear quality can also cause blurry vision. Tears are a mixture of water, fatty oils, and mucus. If the balance is off between these three essential layers, the tears will no longer produce the necessary smooth cover over the front of the eye. Even though your eyes focus perfectly well, the uneven film of tears will distort your vision, and the numbers on your spreadsheet will appear blurry.

When your eyes can’t focus, it could be dry eye from EyeCarePro on Vimeo.

How to Treat Dry Eye

Artificial tears can provide relief for mild dry eye. Make sure to use only preservative-free drops. Consult to get more information on the ideal treatment for your dry eyes.

We can run simple diagnostic tests to determine the cause of dry eye and evaluate your tear quality. If you wear contact lenses, the optometrist can recommend different types of lenses made from materials that retain more moisture.

Schedule an eye exam with at today and talk to us about your focusing issues and dry eye concerns.

Visit our practice if you are from Winnipeg, Selkirk, Portage La Prairie, Brandon, and throughout Manitoba.

Why Do My Eyes Burn?

Dry Eye Girl 640×350The brief burning sensation you may feel in your eyes is commonly due to a minor irritation that disappears once your tears wash it out. However, if the burning sensation persists for more than a few hours, it may indicate a severe problem such as Pink Eye (conjunctivitis), Dry Eyes, Blepharitis or an allergic reaction.

The only way to diagnose and treat burning eyes is by visiting your eye doctor. If you feel a persistent burning sensation in your eyes, talk to at , who will provide you with the relief you need.

What Eye Conditions Cause Burning Eyes

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry Eye Syndrome is the leading cause of a burning sensation in the eyes. Healthy tears consist of a balance of oil, mucus and water, and when the components are not all there, whether in the right quantities and ratios (as in the case of dry eyes), the eyes become dry and irritated— which can result in a burning sensation.

Pink Eye (Viral or BacterialConjunctivitis)

Pink Eye, also known as viral conjunctivitis, is a highly contagious viral or bacterial infection that can affect either one or both eyes and is spread by coughing or sneezing. The symptoms include watery, burning or itchy eyes.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids that causes sore, red eyelids, and crusty debris at the base of the eyelashes. Symptoms include a burning or stinging sensation in the eyes, grittiness, and itchy eyelids.

What Environmental Factors Cause Burning Eyes?

Certain elements can also cause a burning sensation in the eyes, such as allergens, chemicals, perfumes, or getting tiny particles stuck in one’s peepers.

Allergies

Allergens in the air or in your home, such as pet dander or mold, can cause your eyes to itch, tear up, and burn.

Chemicals

Certain chemicals found in household cleaning supplies can cause you to experience a burning sensation. The volatile compounds found in aerosol sprays and disinfectants are not only polluting but also irritating to the eyes.

Fragrances

Certain people that are sensitive to fragrances emanating from perfume, cologne, shampoo, or skin cream, can experience eye irritation, resulting in a burning sensation.

Foreign Particles in Your Eye

When particles get stuck in the eyes, it not only hurts but can also lead to a burning feeling in the eyes.

The Connection Between Burning Eyes and Dry Eyes

woman with close eyes

Tears are necessary for maintaining eye health and for providing clear and comfortable vision. Whenever tiny foreign particles enter the eye, tears form and clean out the eye while keeping the eye moist. However, when tears evaporate too quickly and the eyes become dry, as in the case of Dry Eyes, it can lead to an itchy and burning sensation in the eyes.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Dry Eye Syndrome can be caused by many factors, such as age, genetics, environment, lifestyle, medications, and overall eye health. No matter the factor, the result is the same: your eyes are either not producing enough tears to keep your eyes lubricated, or the tears are not formulated with the correct balance of water, lipids, and mucous to maintain proper lubrication.

What Factors Cause Dry Eyes?

Age. Dry Eyes tend to occur more frequently in older adults. The majority of those over 65 years of age tend to experience some form of Dry Eyes.

Gender. Women are more likely to develop Dry Eyes due to hormonal changes, whether due to pregnancy, oral contraceptives or menopause.

Medicines. Certain medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, and SSRIs, can affect tear production.

Medical conditions. Those with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems can develop symptoms of Dry Eyes. Furthermore, Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), inflammation of the surface of the eye, or the inward or outward turning of eyelids can lead to Dry Eyes.

Environment. Dry Eyes can result from exposure to smoke, wind and dry climates, which can cause tears to evaporate.

Additional factors. Long-term contact lens use and refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK, can reduce tear production and lead to Dry Eyes. Dry Eyes can also occur in those who fail to blink regularly, which typically occurs when staring at a computer screen for extended periods of time.

How Can I Treat or Alleviate Burning Eyes?

If you feel a burning sensation in your eyes, talk to your eye doctor as soon as possible. will carefully diagnose and detect the cause of your discomfort, and if you are diagnosed with Dry Eyes, might recommend medicated eye drops or artificial tears to alleviate the burning sensation and ensure that your eyes remain moisturized all day long. In more severe cases, steroid drops may be prescribed for quick, short-term relief.

If the eye doctor determines that you have Pink Eye or Blepharitis, anti-inflammatory drops will be prescribed. These drops can provide major relief as they target the source of the issue quickly and effectively.

If allergies are the culprit, we can help with that, too. Antihistamines and decongestants can alleviate your symptoms and minimize or even eliminate the burning sensation.

Want your healthy eyes back? Contact and say goodbye to burning eyes for good.

We help patients from in and around Winnipeg, Selkirk, Portage La Prairie, and Brandon, throughout Manitoba, enjoy great vision and comfort again.