Apr 1, 2024 | Dry Eye Syndrome

Gritty Eyes: Why Does It Feel Like There’s Sand in My Eyes?

Do you ever feel like there’s sand in your eyes? This sensation is referred to as “gritty eyes,” and it can be caused by allergies, eye infections, or even dry eye syndrome. It’s very uncomfortable and can make it hard to focus on your daily tasks. In this blog post, we’ll discuss what can cause that gritty feeling in your eyes and how to find relief. 

1. Dry eye syndrome 

Dry eye syndrome is a common issue that can make your eyes feel gritty. It happens when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or make tears of poor quality. Many factors can contribute to dry eye symptoms, including aging, hormonal changes, and certain medications and medical conditions. If you spend a lot of time on your phone or computer, wear contact lenses, or live in a dry or windy place, you’re also more likely to have dry eye.  

Dry eye can cause irritation, redness, burning, and a feeling like there’s sand in your eyes. Seeing an eye doctor is important so they can diagnose it and recommend dry eye treatment such as artificial tears, prescription medications, and lifestyle changes like taking breaks from screens, using a humidifier to add moisture to the air, and staying hydrated. 

2. Allergies 

Gritty eyes can also be caused by allergies, which happen when the immune system reacts to things like pollen, dust mites, and pet fur. Allergies can make your eyes red, itchy, and swollen and cause that gritty sensation. Taking over-the-counter antihistamines, using eye drops, or avoiding allergens altogether can help relieve your discomfort. If your symptoms don’t get better, it’s a good idea to see an eye doctor. 

3. Eye infections 

Infections like bacterial and viral conjunctivitis can cause redness, itchiness, and gritty eyes. Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious condition where the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the front of the eye, gets inflamed and usually affects both eyes. Treatment for conjunctivitis will depend on the specific infection, but it typically involves using antibiotic eye drops or antiviral medications. 

4. Contact lens wear  

Contact lenses can also cause gritty eyes when you wear them for too long, don’t clean them properly, or wear them in a polluted environment. People who wear contact lenses have a higher chance of getting eye infections, corneal abrasions, or dry eyes. That’s why it’s important to follow good hygiene practices while wearing contact lenses and to not wear them too often. 

If you’re experiencing gritty eyes, schedule a dry eye exam in Port Richey to figure out what’s causing it and how to treat it properly. At True Focus Eye Care, our friendly, experienced eye doctors specialize in diagnosing and treating dry eye syndrome and other eye conditions. We offer various treatment options to help reduce dryness and discomfort, so you can enjoy a better quality of life. Get in touch with us today to book an appointment and let us take care of your eye health needs.