There’s no reason to suffer through the uncomfortable, sometimes debilitating symptoms that can accompany dry eye syndrome. Living with chronically dry, red and irritated eyes can affect your productivity and overall enjoyment of life.
That’s why we’ve put together 7 of our top tips for relieving dry eye syndrome.
1. Stay Hydrated
The tears are mostly made up of water, supplied by the tear glands. People need to drink enough liquid to maintain a stable tear film, so if your body isn’t sufficiently hydrated, your eyes won’t be able to produce sufficient tears and will suffer the consequences.
Keep your water bottle at arm’s reach throughout the day. You can even sip on juices, broths and dairy or plant-based milk to keep your body and eyes properly hydrated. Many health authorities recommend drinking between 2-3 liters of hydrating fluids per day.
If your eyes have been feeling dry or irritated, try limiting your alcohol intake because it is a diuretic.
2. Use Artificial Tears
Artificial tears aren’t just great for making your eyes feel more comfortable; they also have protective properties that can prevent ocular surface damage from occurring or worsening.
The tricky part is choosing the correct drops for your specific condition.
By assessing your eyes, your eye doctor can determine what’s causing your eyes to be dry and recommend the most appropriate drops. There are numerous types of artificial tears on the market, and what may work for a friend or relative may not be the best option for you.
3. Up Your Omega-3 Intake
A healthy tear film consists of three layers: water, oil and mucus. An imbalance in any of these components can result in tears that evaporate prematurely. To ensure that your eyes can produce enough of the oils that stabilize your tears, include the recommended daily intake of Omega-3’s in your diet. You can take a supplement and/or eat foods like fatty fish, seeds and nuts.
*It’s best practice to speak with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or introducing a new supplement to your routine.
4. Wear Sunglasses
Sunglasses not only reduce your glare symptoms and provide important UV protection but also effectively offer relief from dry eyes. Dry eyes are vulnerable to irritation from light winds that can dry out the eye’s tear film.
Whenever outdoors, wear a pair of protective wraparound sunglasses to minimize the effects of wind and seal out dirt and debris that can be carried in the breeze. For severe cases of dry eye syndrome, ask your optometrist about specific lenses or eye drops to provide even more relief from dry eyes.
5. Use a Humidifier
When the air around you is too dry, it pulls the remaining moisture from your tears, leaving your eyes feeling parched.
Humidifiers combat the dryness in any indoor environment by replenishing moisture in the air. Whether at work or home, use a humidifier to offset dryness, especially if you are using a fan, heater or air conditioner in the room.
6. Try Warm Compresses
Warm eye compresses are a great way to relieve symptoms of mild to moderate dry eye syndrome.
The gentle heat from a compress helps to soften any hardened oils that may be clogged in the little oil glands that line the eyelashes. Your oil glands will work more efficiently to deliver tear-stabilizing oils to your eyes’ surface once the glands aren’t blocked. Your eye doctor will instruct you on how to easily prepare a warm eye compress at home.
7. Visit Your Dry Eye Optometrist
Your [eye doctor] offers a range of successful options to treat your dry eyes to ensure you always have clear vision and comfortable eyes. Call your dry eye optometrist to have your eyes thoroughly evaluated and treated for long-lasting relief. There is a wide range of in-office treatments that can alleviate symptoms of dry eye syndrome and help your eyes feel refreshed.
To learn more about our dry eye services and schedule a consultation, call The Dry Eye Center of Southern Eyecare Associates in Norfolk today!
The Dry Eye Center of Southern Eyecare Associates serves dry eye patients from Norfolk, Portsmouth, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake, Virginia and surrounding communities.
Q: What are other symptoms of dry eye syndrome?
- A: Aside from redness and dryness, dry eye syndrome can also cause watery eyes, stinging or burning, stringy mucus, blurred vision, grittiness, light sensitivity and difficulty wearing contact lenses. Symptoms can range from mild to debilitating, and from occasional to chronic.
Q: Does dry eye syndrome need to be treated?
- A: If left untreated, dry eye syndrome can cause eye inflammation, corneal ulcers or abrasions and even vision loss in severe cases. Dry eye syndrome also puts a person more at risk of developing eye infections. If you have any symptoms of dry eye syndrome, contact us for a tailor-made treatment plan.