Everything You Need To Know About Dry Eye Syndrome in Children

Dry Eye symptoms are the same in children as they are in adults.[1] Therefore, knowing how to treat children with Dry Eye Syndrome can be difficult, as it could be unclear whether to provide the same treatment as adults to them. Although Dry Eye Syndrome is considered to be fairly rare, it could be easily overlooked in children and therefore goes untreated.[2]


This blog rounds up some frequently asked questions about Dry Eye syndrome in children, as well as how to help and treat your child’s symptoms.


Why does my child have dry eyes?

There are a number of reasons why your child may suffer from dry eyes.[3]


Over use of electronic devices

A study indicated that the longer a child uses an electronic device, the lower their blink rate is. Blinking protects the eye, keeps it moist and gets rid of debris on the surface of the eye.[4] Therefore, a lower brink rate can lead to drier eyes because moisture is not spreading across the surface of the eye as frequently.


Ocular allergies  

Different ocular allergies present a higher risk of Dry Eye in children.[2] These allergies can cause a number of different problems with the eyes including inflammation, neurosensory abnormalities and tear film instability.


Poor nutrition

A number of vitamin deficiencies can cause your eyes to become drier.[2] It is therefore important to ensure your child has a balanced diet. Children who have eating disorders, malabsorption syndrome or a vegetarian or vegan diet are more likely to have poor nutrition and therefore have a bigger risk of Dry Eye Syndrome.[2]



Certain medications can cause or worsen Dry Eye Syndrome.[2] These include topical and systemic medications for acne, antihistamines, and benzalkonium chloride-preserved eye drops


Contact lenses

If your child regularly wears contact lenses this may be causing them to experience drier eyes.[2] This can happen as contact lenses limit oxygen flow into the eye, and oxygen is essential for developing natural tears.[5] There are certain contact lenses that can help this issue.[6] We would advise speaking to a medical professional about the options available.


dry eye in children


How do I know if my toddler has dry eyes?

There are a number of ways to tell if your child is experiencing dry eyes.[2] If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, you could consult a healthcare professional so they can provide suitable treatment:

  • constantly rubbing their eyes
  • itchy, stinging eyes
  • redness in the eye
  • blurry vision
  • eyes watering a lot
  • sensitivity to light
  • contact lenses causing discomfort
  • string-like mucus in the eyes



What to use for kids with dry eyes?

Eye drops are usually recommended for children with dry eyes to replenish or maintain the moisture in the eye.[2] Our range of products can provide instant relief for dry eyes and are suitable for use in children. Take a look at our product range here and find the treatment that is best for your child: treatment prevention

If you’d like a quick home remedy, try applying a warm towel compress to the eyes to soothe the irritation and provide short term relief.[7]

dry eye in children


How do I give eye drops to my toddler?

Firstly, ensure that your hands are clean before touching the eye drop bottle or your child’s eyes. Make sure your child is laying down flat in a comfortable position. Then, prepare the drops and follow the instructions provided – you may have to shake the bottle before use. Gently pull down the lower lid of your child’s eye, making sure to avoid touching the eye or eyelashes, and drop one drop into the centre of the eye. Finally, release the eyelid and allow your child to blink a few times to spread the drop over the entire eye.[8]



How will dry eyes affect my child?

Dry eyes can be incredibly irritating for children and could affect their ability to go about their daily routine.[9] If their eyes are irritated and sore, it could decrease their level of concentration, which becomes challenging in school and extracurricular activities. Daily activities like reading, using electronic devices and playing sports can also be affected by dry eyes and children may find it hard to carry out these activities.[9]

dry eye in children


When should I speak to a doctor about my child’s dry eyes?

Usually Dry Eye is a temporary problem and can be treated with gel or drops.[2]


However, if you notice the symptoms in your child worsen or develop, it would be beneficial to speak to a doctor to get some advice. Speaking to a doctor would also be advisory if you notice any of the following symptoms in your child:

  • marked eye redness
  • changes to their vision
  • signs of infection
  • vision getting worse
  • normal daily activities become difficult to do


Persistent dry eyes could also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so it’s important to consult with your doctor to see if these conditions could be the root cause of your child’s dry eyes.[2]


If you or your child are struggling with itchy, dry eyes, why not follow us on social @dryeyeandme for tips on symptoms, lifestyle and care.


In most cases, the best way to treat dry eyes, Also known as dry eye syndrome, is to use eye gel or eye drops.

VisuXL Gel® is a preservative-free smart gel lubricant for dry eye syndrome. It provides comfort in a bottle with it’s long-lasting lubrication properties giving 12-hour dosing with just one drop and is suitable for both day and night use.

VisuXL® is a preservative-free eye drop lubricant for dry eye syndrome. Due to its unique ingredients, VisuXL® will help you recover from eye surgery, an injury or persistent damaging dry eye.

VisuEvo® is a preservative-free eye drop that prevents excessive evaporation of the tear film. Its unique formula contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, Vitamins A and D and ultra-filtered phospholipids that facilitate tear film presentation and control evaporation.

All three products are contact lens-friendly and can be used for 180 days after opening.

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  1. ABC Children’s Eye Specialists, ‘How Dry Eye Affects Children’, Accessed June 2022
  2. Tee-Melegrito, Rachel Ann. ‘What to know about dry eye in kids, Medical News Today, 28/04/22, Accessed June 2022
  3. Tee-Melegrito, Rachel Ann. ‘What to know about dry eye in kids, <i>Medical News Today</i>, 28/04/22, Accessed June 2022
  4. Better Vision New Jersey, ‘Everything You Need To Know About Blinking, 14/01/21, Accessed June 2022
  5. Specsavers, ‘Your guide to wearing contact lenses for dry eyes’, Accessed June 2022
  6. Specsavers, ‘Your guide to wearing contact lenses for dry eyes’</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Accessed June 2022</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">
  7. Dry Eye And Me, Dry Eyes Treatment & Prevention, Accessed July 2022
  8. Tee-Melegrito, Rachel Ann. ‘What to know about dry eye in kids, </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Medical News Today</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">, 28/04/22, Accessed June 2022</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">
  9. Vision Arts Eyecare Center, ‘When Children Suffer from Dry Eye’’, Accessed June 2022
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