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29 Things Only Someone with Dry Eyes Would Understand

Medically reviewed by Judith Marcin, MD on September 2, 2016Written by Ginger Gillenwater on September 2, 2016

Living with dry eyes means discomfort at the most inconvenient times. Sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh about it so you don’t lose your mind.

1. The looks you get when you’re sitting in a meeting and the tears pour down your face because of the burning and stinging. Fortunately, bar graphs and boring facts make everyone want to cry, so you’re off the hook.

burn and sting tears

2. Contact lenses do magic tricks. If you can wear contacts and have dry eye, they may occasionally jump out of your eyes all by themselves!


3. That look you give your doctor when they tell you the eye drop side effects: burning, redness, pain, discharge, tearing, stinging, itching, blurred vision, or feeling like something is in the eye. Um, just go with it?


4. Is it dry eye or an eyelash? As far as you know, someone threw sand in your eyes when you weren’t looking.


5. Being late for work because blurred vision slowed you down and then coming up with the excuse that the Sahara Desert took up residence in your eyes and there was no oasis in sight (no pun intended).


6. You tell the optometrist, “I feel like something is in my eye” and they say, “your eyeball.”


7. Wearing your sunglasses when it isn’t sunny and someone serenades you with Corey Hart’s “Sunglasses at Night.”


8. You decide to make the first move and start singing “Sunglasses at Night” before someone else beats you to it.


9. Driving at night feels like you’re running an obstacle course on American Ninja Warrior.


10. When your eyes are so red that you’re afraid people will start rumors. All you did last night was watch “See No Evil” for the tenth time.


11. Reminding yourself to blink while at the computer. Wait, did I blink before I wrote that sentence? Should I blink again? Should I blink a few times to catch up on my blinking?


12. Wanting to pull the plug on the Clark Griswold wannabe’s Christmas light display.


13. That one time burning and watering in one eye turned the normal one-on-one with the grocery store cashier into a scene from Scarface. “Say hello to my little dry eye.”


14. The day you told your friend that the humidity was low because your eyes told you so. Who knew you could be a human hygrometer?


15. Those days when your eyes are so red you’re afraid you’ll scare small children.


16. When you realize you could take a nice vacation (while wearing your sunglasses at night) if you dropped a quarter in a jar for every time you say your eyes hurt.


17. The stares you get from people on a Monday who are thinking you had a really great time over the weekend. Then again, the stares you get from people on Thursday who don’t understand why someone would party on a Wednesday night.


18. Realizing your eyes are the focal point of your Halloween costume because “they look so real.”


19. Knowing the phrase “not a dry eye in the house” doesn’t apply to you.


20. The waiter keeps asking you if your food is OK. Later, you look into the mirror to find you have a case of “devil eyes.” Apparently, more than just small children become frightened.


21. The feeling of euphoria you got the first time you used lubricating eye drops for your dry eyes and how the memory ranks up there with that time you went bungee jumping or when you got that long awaited promotion.


22. You try to consciously control your “eye drop face” in public, missing your eye completely.


23. The touch-up feature in your photo editing app to eliminate red eye blacks out your entire eye, giving you “mega pupils.”


24. Misreading an email because your eyes hurt and your sight is blurry.


25. Making the announcement to everyone who looks at you that you don’t have pink eye.


26. Your vision blurs in the middle of reading a recipe. Your family’s faces tell the story.


27. When you have to pull out your eye drops in the middle of a funeral service.


28. Thinking about how good that lotion will feel on your hands, but debating whether or not it’s a good idea because you just know you’ll rub your eyes. Five minutes later, you’re reminding yourself why you had to think so hard about using that lotion.


29. Using the selfie feature of your smartphone camera as a mirror to see if your eyes are red and then taking a selfie anyway.


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