Dry, Tired Eyes? Here’s What You Can Do

Dry, tired eyes are the enemy of productivity. They can make you want to take a nap or stop working – even if your motivation is top-notch.

Ahead, we take a look at some of the symptoms and causes of dry, tired eyes so you can better understand the root of the problem.

We’ll also give you some recommendations for remedies and prevention measures you can take to refresh your eyes and get back to regular life.


Some of the telltale signs of dry eyes are obvious. Itchy, red eyes are a clear sign that you’re suffering from dry, tired eyes.

Some of the other symptoms are a bit less clear, however. Here are some signs that you’re suffering from dry eyes:

  • Watery eyes/increased tear production – tear production is the body’s natural response to dry eyes.
  • Mucus buildup around your eyes
  • The sensation of something stuck in your eye
  • Pain or increased sensitivity when applying contact lenses
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Stinging or burning sensation in your eye

Causes of Dry, Tired Eyes

There are multiple causes of dry eyes, and some people experience them more than others.

You may start to notice your eyes becoming dry as a side effect to certain medications you’re taking, or maybe you just didn’t get enough sleep the night before.

Dry eyes usually aren’t something that warrants concern – unless the problem persists without an identifiable cause. Here are some of the common reasons for dry eyes, so you might be able to determine what’s causing your problem.

Decreased Tear Production

One of the most common reasons someone experiences dry, tired eyes is due to insufficient tear production. Tears keep your eyes lubricated, and your eyes will begin to sting or get red if your body doesn’t produce enough.

There are a number of reasons you could be experiencing a decrease in tear production. Tear production tends to decrease with age, which is why many people have tired eyes more frequently as they get older.

Damage to your tear gland could also be a possibility. You should visit your doctor if you have pain or suspect a damaged tear gland.

Tear Evaporation

You might be producing enough tears, but those tears may be evaporating too fast to lubricate your eyes properly.

When you’re concentrating on something for extended periods of time, it can lead to tear evaporation.

Have you ever noticed that your eyes become dry or tired after reading, watching a movie, or working on the computer?

This is because you aren’t blinking as much as you should be. The wind exposure evaporates your tears before they have the chance to stave off tired eyes.

Side Effects

You might start to experience dry eyes after taking new medications for a while. Drugs like antihistamines, sleeping pills, anxiety medication, and beta-blockers list side effects that include dry eyes.

These drugs may cause your eyes to become dry, red, and swollen. You should tell your doctor if you experience dry eyes after starting a new medication.

Antihistamines, in particular, are a double-edged sword, since allergies can cause your eyes to become dry or watery as well.


Smoke can be a massive eye irritant and can cause dry eyes after certain levels of exposure.

If you spent the night by a campfire, for instance, there’s a chance you’ll wake the next morning with drier eyes than usual.

You may also experience dry, tired eyes if you’re a smoker. Smokers are more prone to getting smoke in their eyes, which can cause regular bouts of dry eyes after a while.

Remedies for Dry, Tired Eyes

Artificial Tears

Over the counter, artificial tears are the most common ways to treat dry, tired eyes. They refresh and moisturise your eye, and can even wake you up in the process.

These drops are often the best way to remedy the occasional dry eye bout, so it helps to have them on hand in case you need them.

Those with chronic dry eye may need to use these artificial tears on a regular basis – even when they don’t feel as though they need them.


The winter is notorious for causing dry eyes because of the lack of moisture in the air. The best way to remedy this is to add a humidifier to your home or work space.

These machines add moisture to the air, which can be helpful when fixing dry eyes, dry skin, and other winter-related ailments.

Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but it’s one of the best pieces of advice we can give for overall health. You may notice a number of health improvements, including clear, refreshed eyes. 

Take a Break

Long, tedious tasks that require enhanced focus will usually cause you to stop blinking as much as you should be. Start becoming conscious of your blinks during long tasks, and take frequent breaks to make sure your eyes don’t become too dry.

Talk to Your Doctor

You should contact your doctor if your dry, tired eyes persist despite your best efforts. Your doctor can prescribe strong eye drops and creams that may fix the problem.

Doctors can even take more extreme measures to aid dry eyes if needed. Check with your medical professional if artificial tears and natural remedies don’t do the trick.

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