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Eye and Ear Problems

Dry Eyes

Home Treatment

Eyes that don't have enough moisture in them may feel dry, hot, sandy, or gritty. Low humidity, smoke, the natural aging process, certain diseases, and medications (such as antihistamines, decongestants, or birth control pills) may cause dry eyes.

The structures at the front of the eye (lens, pupil, cornea, iris) let light into the eye. Light hits the back of the eye (retina) and is changed into nerve signals that are carried to the brain by the optic nerve. The brain reads the signals from the optic nerve as images that you "see."

Eye Problems


Possible Causes

Red, itchy, watery eyes

Allergies, See Allergies. Think about allergy to eye care products, makeup, or smoke. Possible contact lens problem, See Contact Lenses.

Excessive discharge from eye; red, swollen eyelids; sandy feeling

Eye Infections, See Eye Infections. Possible contact lens problem, See Contact Lenses.

Pimple or swelling on eyelid

Styes, See Styes.

Pain in the eye

Chemical Burns, See Chemical Burns; Migraine Headaches, See Migraine Headaches; Cluster Headaches, See Cluster Headaches; Objects in the Eye, See Objects in the Eye; Possible contact lens problem, See Contact Lenses; Eye Infections, See Eye Infections.

Severe eye pain, blurred vision, reddened eyeball

Possible iritis or acute glaucoma, See Cataracts and Glaucoma. See a doctor now!

Red spot on white of eye

Blood in the Eye, See Blood in the Eye.

Blow to the eye

Bruises (black eye), See Bruises.

Dry, scratchy eyes

Dry Eyes, See Dry Eyes.

Home Treatment

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  • Give your eyes a rest. While reading, watching television, or using a computer, take frequent breaks and close your eyes. If you can, blink your eyes more often.

  • If possible, avoid smoke and other eye irritants.

  • Try a nonprescription artificial tear solution, such as Isoptotears.

  • Call a health professional if dry eyes are persistent and artificial tears do not help.

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