Park Slope Eye
682 Union St Brooklyn NY 11215 +1 347-560-8393

Pediatric-Dry-Eye-Syndrome-Signs-Solutions-Hero-1 Hero

Pediatric Dry Eye Syndrome: Signs and Solutions

Book Appointment

Dry eye syndrome can be extremely uncomfortable. You might feel a persistent dryness or a gritty, scratchy sensation in your eyes, or start to develop problems with your vision. It’s irritating, and it doesn’t just affect adults. When children develop dry eyes, it can be a problem—especially if they don’t know what’s going on with their vision.

Fortunately, there are some signs you can watch out for to help your child. If they’re rubbing their eyes, avoiding most visual tasks, or developing visible redness in the area, they may have dry eyes. If you notice these signs, visit your optometrist so your child can find relief from their dry eyes.

What Is Pediatric Dry Eye?

Dry eyes develop when your tears aren’t able to protect your eyes anymore. Either there aren’t enough tears to properly protect the eye or the tears being produced aren’t high enough quality to do their job. This condition, clinically referred to as dry eye syndrome, leaves the eyes unprotected and vulnerable to the air. It often causes:

  • A burning, dry, and gritty sensation
  • Visible redness
  • Blurry vision
  • Light sensitivity

Dry Eyes in Kids

If your child develops dry eyes, it can be a problem. They might not know how to explain what they’re feeling, especially if they’ve never felt this sensation before. This condition can make it especially difficult to pay attention to anything that requires intense focus since this can be extremely uncomfortable.

This means that your child may start to have problems in school. They may not be able to focus on reading or writing, and screens might be uncomfortable to use. This makes it essential to learn how to tell if your child has dry eyes!

How to Tell if Your Child Has Dry Eyes

Because it can be difficult for a child to communicate exactly what they’re feeling, it can help to look for signs they have dry eyes. Keep an eye out for:

  • Visible redness or bloodshot eyes
  • Complaints of scratchy or uncomfortable eyes
  • Blinking more than usual or rubbing their eyes
  • Difficulty keeping their eyes open in bright light
  • Complaints about blurry vision

They may start avoiding reading or spending time at a computer since these activities can make the burning sensation worse. And remember: these symptoms aren’t just indicators of dry eyes. They’re all signs that your child’s eyes need some help, so it’s important to get a professional opinion.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Several potential options can cause a child to develop dry eyes. Sometimes, it’s as simple as being in a dry or windy environment for too long. In other situations, dry eye can be caused by an allergic reaction, or by spending too long doing something without blinking (like video games or focusing on a good book).

But sometimes, dry eyes can be a side effect of a medical condition developing. Some common conditions that can cause this include:

  • Diabetes
  • Thyroid problems
  • Sjogren’s syndrome, where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy organs

Dry eye syndrome can even develop due to a problem with your child’s nutrition. Because there are so many potential causes, it can help to visit us at Park Slope Eye—we can provide an accurate diagnosis for your child’s dry eyes and help design a plan for treatment.

Are Dry Eyes Treatable?

There’s good news: dry eye syndrome is easily treatable with the help of our experienced team! But the treatment does depend on what exactly is causing your child’s dry eyes.

Sometimes, treatment can be as simple as changing the environment a little bit. It can help to remove any air conditioners or space heaters (if possible) so your child isn’t continually exposed to the dry moving air. In other situations, a more advanced approach may be necessary.

Our team may recommend:

  • Artificial tears or eye drops to help bring relief and stimulate your child’s natural tear production
  • Dietary changes to get your child the nutrients they need to naturally recover
  • Warm compresses to stimulate the area and bring relief
  • In-office meibomian gland expression, where we use a non-invasive approach to help promote natural tear production
  • Punctal plugs to temporarily or permanently stop tears from draining back into the eye

The treatment we recommend may vary depending on your child’s unique situation.

A child holding a smartphone on a table using her left hand while rubbing her right eye with her other hand.

Help Your Child Find Relief from Dry Eye

If you think your child might have dry eye syndrome, don’t worry. Our team here at Park Slope Eye is here to help bring your child relief. Remember: while dry eyes are irritating and frustrating, they’re also highly treatable. 

Keep an eye out for any signs, and come visit our team of eye doctors. We’re here to keep your child’s eyes healthy, so book an appointment with us today!


  • Categories
  • Written by Justin Bazan

    Dr. Justin Bazan is a 2004 SUNY College of Optometry graduate. He established Park Slope Eye in 2008 with the goal of providing high quality eyecare and incredible eyewear for the neighborhood. He has a true passion for optometry and stay up to date with the current research and trends. He is active in the profession and holds several leadership positions on the local, state and national levels. Dr. Bazan is a Park Slope local and can often be seen out in the neighborhood so be sure to say Hi next time you see him!

    More Articles by Justin Bazan

    Visit Our Location

    We’d love to meet you. You can find Park Slope Eye on the corner of Union Street and 5th Ave in Brooklyn.

    To book an appointment please use our Book Appointment link. For general inquiries, please email us at [email protected] and a member of our staff will return your email promptly.

    Our Address

    • 682 Union St
    • Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA

    Contact Us


    Noon - 8:00 PM
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    By Appointment Only
    By Appointment Only

    Our Reviews

    chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax