In our third installment of the Save Your Vision series, we’re talking dry eyes. The risk of acquiring dry eye increases with age, we also see dry eye more commonly among post menopausal women. Common symptoms of dry eye include dry, red and inflamed eyes, as well as discomfort and sensitivity to light.
We’re sharing our best tips for relieving dry eyes below.
1. Use artificial tears – Preservative free artificial tear supplements are available. You want to choose a preservative free supplement in order to minimize your exposure to preservatives since you will be using the drops 2 or more times a day.
2. The 20/20/20 rule – When working on the computer or reading, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Computer use and reading decrease your blink rate and the surface of your eye dries out faster than normal.
3. Use a humidifier – Add a humidifier near your desk at work and near your bed at home. At work, this will help alleviate some of the drier air you get in large office settings and even older buildings. At night, a humidifier would help because Sometimes your eyelids may not close all the way while sleeping and the exposed surface will dry out faster. A humidifier helps to keep your eyes moist throughout the night.
4. Single use contacts – If you are a contact lens-wearer, decrease your wear time in your contact lenses. Your days of over-wearing your contact lenses are over…If you want to stay a happy, comfortable wearer, take out lenses earlier and wear your glasses. Give your eyes more of a break! The best solution? Single use contacts-what feels better than a clean, fresh lens on your eye each day?
5. Visit your eye doctor – Your eye doctor can make sure that there isn’t a larger problem at hand. They can also prescribe eye drops not available over the counter.
6. Diet – Improving your diet. Increase your intake of salmon, tuna, walnuts and flaxseed. They are all great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. You may also take an Omega-3 supplement. Ask your doctor which supplement would be best for you.
7. Proper lid hygiene – Properly cleaning your eyelids helps to make sure that your tear ducts aren’t blocked – if they are blocked they can’t secrete the tears your eyes need to remain lubricated. While in the shower, use warm soapy water or a clean washcloth to gently clean your lids and eyelashes. Ladies, you have to get that makeup off at the end of the day!
8. Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help ensure you are well hydrated.
If you are experiencing dry eyes and are looking for relief, schedule an appointment here. We can help you establish the cause of your dry eyes, and help you implement a wellness strategy to improve them.