These 11 simple tips will help you put an end to dry eye symptoms for good!
Everyone at some stage has experienced dry eyes. Too much time in front of the computer, out in the wind, or in a smoky environment can leave you with dry, and often sore eyes.
But did you know that for 1 in 10 Australian adults, dry eye syndrome is a more serious problem? The biggest culprits are air conditioning, climate, aging, medications, long-term use of contact lenses, and vitamin A deficiency. And it can lead to common dry eye symptoms like irritation, itching and blurred vision.
Dry Eye Drops (also known as artificial tears) are by far the most popular way to deal with dry eye symptoms, but there are many other preventative steps you can take
to keep eyes more comfortable.
Here Are Our 11 Simple Tips to Improve Dry Eye Symptoms:
1. Preservative free artificial tears
When treating the eye for dryness with artificial tears, the preservative in the some eye drop preparations can exacerbate the dry eye problem. A preservative free preparation can avoid this. Also avoid preparations designed for red eyes. Long term these can worsen the problem. Ask your Ophthalmologist, Optometrist or GP for recommendations.
2. Blink regularly, especially if you are at a computer
Did you know that when you sit in front of a computer, you decrease the rate at which you blink? According to researchers at Ohio State University, squinting while you’re staring at a computer screen reduces blinking by half. People squint either to cut the effects of glare, or to make the content on the screen appear clearer, but either way, they’re preventing the natural flow of tear fluid, which keeps eyes moist.
3. Try dietary supplements
There is some evidence from clinical trials that flaxseed oil and fish oil, particularly krill oil, can have a moisturizing effect on the eyes because they contain Omega-3 fatty acids. These oils improve the quality of the tear film. These good oils have also been linked to reduced levels of heart disease, so now there’s an extra reason to take them.
4. Use a hot compress and eyelid massage
This daily regime can improve the tear film. Ask your Optometrist or Ophthalmologist for treatment instructions. It’s important to commit to this treatment daily and longer term, as it can often take weeks or months for the beneficial effects to become noticeable.
5. Treat underlying eye conditions
If you have underlying allergic eye disease or systemic disease such as autoimmune disease, it is important to have these addressed by your medical and eye care team.
6. Check with your doctor that dry eyes are not a side effect of your regular Medication
Been taking your meds lately? While medication is a fact of life for many people, one little known side effect of many medications is dry eyes. Pain killers, anti- depressants, antihistamines, decongestants, and gastrointestinal medication are often associated with dry eye symptoms, so check with your doctor to see if this could be the cause.
7. Consider wrap around sunglasses to protect eyes from sun, wind and dust
Something you may not have considered is changing over to a wrap-around style of sunglasses to protect your eyes. They might make you look like a biker, but the benefits are that they protect sensitive eyes from UV rays, pollutants, while keeping in moisture, and preventing water from evaporating from the eyes. Sun damage on the surface of the eye can also cause irregularities in the tear film, resulting in sub-optimal function. Therefore, a hat is also important in protecting the eye from damaging UV sun exposure.
8. Avoid other environment stressors
We all know by now that smoking can cause any number of health issues. One more to add to the list is dry eyes. Tobacco smoke is one of the worst eye irritants, and smokers are twice a likely to have dry eyes. Second-hand smoke is just as bad, so avoiding smoky rooms is crucial. Aircondiitoning and heating in officeds and homes can
also dehumidify the air, making dry eye symptoms worse.
9. Use a humidifier to add moisture to dry air caused by air conditioning or heating
Artificial heating can significantly reduce the level of humidity in the air, making it harder for our eyes to stay moistened. This is why so many people experience dry eye symptoms during the winter. If this is the case for you, then consider investing in a humidifier, which can increase the level of moisture in the air by up to 10%. They’re also great if you live in a dry climate.
10. Stay hydrated
Dry eyes can be a sign of dehydration. Water is vital for our eyes to produce tears, so you should drink between 8 to 10 glasses of water every day, particularly if you like to indulge in coffee while you work.
11. Get checked out.
There are specialised treatments if the basics don’t provide relief.
Remember the best way to keep your eyes healthy is with a regular eye examination. So if you notice dry eye symptoms, give one of our clinics a call on 1300 344 325 and book an appointment today.