series of personified eyes displaying weird symptoms like blurriness, burning, mucus, and itching.

Community Views: What Is the Weirdest Symptom You've Experienced?

Chronic dry eye (CDE) can be so frustrating to live with, especially as new and unexpected symptoms arise. Like many diagnoses, CDE is not just about 1 symptom but several. And all these symptoms may require some patience as you figure out how best to manage them.

To find out more about what CDE community members find most challenging, we reached out on the Facebook page and asked: “What is the strangest dry eye symptom you have experienced?”

Nearly 40 people responded. Here is what they shared.

Blurry vision

eyeball up in the cloudsThe number one symptom that people in the community found the strangest is blurry vision, which can be very difficult to learn to tolerate. Vision affects not only our ability to do most jobs, but also a majority of hobbies. Blurry vision can start sometimes right after waking and stay with us all day long, making this symptom hard to live with.

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“The blurring is the symptom that distressed me the most. Some days are better than others for me.”

“Blurry vision! It is my least favorite symptom.”

“I agree blurry vision is the worst. I am a photographer and birder, so the blurriness makes things difficult, and on some days impossible.”

Eyelids that stick

sticky eyelid filled with mucus being pulled apart It is certainly a weird and unexpected problem to have to work to open your eyes safely and comfortably when starting the day. Some folks rely on a warm washcloth in the morning to wipe away dried mucus and residue, which can make eyelids feel glued shut.

“Having my eyelids stick to my eyeballs, and constantly cleaning mucus.”

Painful eyes upon waking

irritated itchy eyeball It can be incredibly difficult to learn to wake up to painful eyes. Several people in the community have found relief at night from medicines and herbal remedies, such as castor oil.

“Waking up to irritation in the eyes.”

“Dry eyes. I use organic cold-pressed castor oil every night.”

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fire red eye looking mad Several people in the CDE Facebook community shared that stinging, burning eyes is a reality they live with.

“During the day, my eyes burn.”

This symptom often requires active effort to reduce:

  • Some people use humidifiers in their workspace or home to help create a more comfortable environment for their eyes.
  • Some people constantly apply eye drops to find relief from the stinging.
  • Others have found that a warm compress placed over closed eyes can help clear the eyes’ oil ducts, which might be blocked.

Keep in mind that it may take some trial and error to find out which solution works best for you.


Red eyes can feel like an embarrassing symptom, especially when we are around people who do not know that our CDE diagnosis is the reason for the redness. It can feel exhausting, too, to try and explain our appearance to people. But it is important to remember that we never have to explain ourselves or our condition to anyone unless we want to.

“Fire engine red eyes that do not go away.”

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We want to say thank you to everyone who shared their experience dealing with CDE symptoms. We always appreciate hearing from our community members. Share with us any weird symptoms you've experienced in the comments below!

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