Many people suffer from dry eyes but are not sure what to do, apart from use drops to help relieve it, only to find it come back again. Our everyday life is changing and more and more people are experiencing dry eye symptoms. Many factors can cause dry eye syndrome but simply covering them up is not the answer.
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The most common form of dry eyes is what we call evaporative dry eyes, which is where your tears evaporate more quickly than normal.
Less commonly is an aqueous deficient dry eye. This is where you fail to produce enough tears to maintain a healthy eye surface. You can use drops but this will not solve the problem, it will just simply cover it up.
Some of the causes of dry eye syndrome are; side effects from medications, skin disease, auto-immune disease, insufficient blinking, laser refractive surgery known as Lasik, eyelid disorders, hormone imbalance… and many more!
Treating dry eye syndrome
There are also treatments available depending on the type of dry eye syndrome you have, many are intrusive but the majority can be managed at home with over-the-counter products.
Dry eye syndrome can be managed as an ongoing condition. There are a numerous of self-care treatments that can help. Here are the top 7:
- Artificial tears can help with the burning, gritty feeling after wiping them or when you are in dry environments.
- Take a break from computers, phones, and tablets. Technology has now embedded itself in everyone’s lifestyle and staring at these screens reduce our blink rate by half! Short breaks give our eyes the rest they need to retain the moisture.
- Drink more water. We need to keep ourselves hydrated by drinking more water. Tears are 90% water! If we maintain our hydration, dry eyes are more manageable.
- Consider a humidifier. A lot of people will suggest this. Humidifiers add moisture back in the air and can relieve the symptoms.
- Warm Compresses. Using a warm compress at night for 15 minutes can really help. It helps to encourage your eyelids to produce oils, which help stabilise the tears and prevent fast evaporation. It also helps you fall asleep!
- Careful with eye makeup. For those who use it, be sure to remove it sufficiently before using drops or warm compresses.
- Supplements. Evidence suggests omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin A can help with the support of tears. Omega 3 fatty acids can be found in oily fish and seeds such as flaxseed.
Always consult your optician when considering treatment options but with good management and advice dye eye syndrome can be managed. For more information and advice, make an appointment today with an experienced optician.