What Causes Gritty Eyes & How to Treat Them

Jan 1, 2024

Have you ever felt like there’s sand or dirt in your eyes, but there’s nothing there? This sensation is known as “gritty eyes,” and it can be a sign of an underlying condition. If your eyes often feel gritty, it’s crucial to figure out why and take steps to treat the root cause. In this blog post, we’ll explore common causes of gritty eyes and how to treat them.  

Common causes of gritty eyes 

1. Eye infections 

Eye infections can cause gritty eyes and also lead to redness and discharge. Your eye doctor can figure out what type of infection it is and prescribe antibiotic eye drops or ointments to treat it.  

2. Allergies 

Allergies can also make your eyes feel gritty. Allergens like pollen, dust, and pet dander can irritate your eyes and make them feel like there’s something stuck in them. You can try using over-the-counter eye drops or antihistamines to find relief.  

3. Contact lenses 

If you wear contact lenses, they can cause dry eye or a gritty sensation, especially if you wear them for too long or don’t clean them properly. Make sure to always follow the recommended wearing schedule for your contact lenses. If you continue to have discomfort, talk to your eye doctor about trying a different type of contact lens.  

4. Dry environment 

If you live in a dry climate, spend a lot of time in air-conditioned rooms, or work in a place with low humidity, you might end up with gritty eyes. This is because dry air can make your tears evaporate faster and cause dryness. To avoid this, use a humidifier in dry environments and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. 

5. Dry eye syndrome 

Gritty eyes are often a symptom of dry eye syndrome, which occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or produce poor-quality tears. Tears are essential for keeping your eyes moist and comfortable. When you don’t have enough tears, it can cause irritation, redness, and a gritty feeling. 

Treatment for gritty eyes  

Treatment for gritty eyes will depend on the underlying cause. For most of our patients, we usually start with artificial tears to lubricate the eyes. In more severe cases, we may recommend prescription eye drops or ointments. We may also suggest warm compresses or lifestyle changes, such as taking frequent breaks from screens or avoiding certain allergens.  

Gritty eyes can be a nuisance, but they’re not something you have to live with. By taking preventive measures and getting regular eye exams, you can manage your symptoms and relieve discomfort. At Hanna Eye Care, we specialize in diagnosing and treating dry eye as well as other eye conditions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and get the relief you deserve!