Eye care: 6 useful tips to relieve dry eye
If you suffer from or have experienced dry eye, you know how unpleasant it can be, especially during the daytime. Dry eye is a condition wherein your tear glands fail to produce enough quality tears to nourish your eye.
Tears lubricate the eye's front surface and help wash away debris, dust, and microbes that are hazardous to the cornea and may cause eye infections. Without it, you may feel extreme discomfort and even pain.
The causes, symptoms, and treatments of dry eye will be discussed in-depth in this guide.
Causes of dry eye
If your tear glands lose the balance between tear production and drainage, dry eye syndrome can occur. Many factors can trigger dry eye, including:
1. Aging. Although dry eye occurs at any age, it becomes increasingly common as a person ages. People over 65 years old may develop this condition as part of the natural aging process.
2. Gender. Post-menopausal women undergo hormonal changes that likely lead to developing dry eye syndrome. Additionally, pregnancy and using oral contraceptives can also affect tear production.
3. Lifestyle. According to studies, smoking can be linked to serious eye problems. Field-related workers who are regularly exposed to the sun and other harsh elements without wearing protective eyewear may also be prone to it.
4. Medical conditions. People who have diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, blepharitis (eyelid inflammation), and thyroid problems are more prone to dry eyes.
5. Medication. Medicines like decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications can decrease tear production.
6. Environmental conditions. Windy and dry climates cause tears to evaporate quickly, which results in dry eyes. Additionally, staring at the computer screen all day can contribute to this condition.
7. Other factors. People who use contact lenses instead of eyeglasses or have undergone LASIK treatments commonly complain about dry eye symptoms.
Symptoms of dry eye
Dry eye syndrome causes several symptoms, including:
· Redness of the eyes
· Burning, stinging or scratching sensation
· Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
· Watery eyes
· Aching sensation
· Stringy mucus around the eye
· Foreign body sensation, or feeling like there is something stuck in your eye
· Blurry vision
Practical ways to get rid of dry eye
Dry eye syndrome can be a chronic condition and is typically progressive. While no cure completely eradicates it, you can manage it successfully and prevent it from disturbing your daily living.
Here are some common dry eye treatments that result in fewer dry eye symptoms, giving you comfort.
1. Change your environment
Too often, people suffer from dry eyes because of environmental factors. You can start by avoiding smoke or staying indoors when it's windy or cold outside. If you need to go out, use the appropriate eyewear that blocks harsh elements from drying out your eyes. Choose blue light blocking glasses with 100% protection from UV rays and select wrap-style frames for better coverage.
2. Adding tears
If you are suffering from a mild case of dry eye, you can use over-the-counter artificial tears or lubricating eye drops that supplement your natural tear production. You can use this product as frequently as needed to soothe your discomfort. Eye drops deliver quick relief and clear up your vision as soon as you apply them.
3. Conserving tears
For people with chronic dry eye syndrome, preventing the tear from draining is often the treatment. It can be done by blocking the tear ducts using gel-like or silicone plugs, removed if the condition gets better. In extreme cases, tear ducts can be permanently removed by surgery.
4. Supplementing with Omega-3
According to research, Omega-3 rich foods can help relieve dry eye symptoms. This fatty acid effectively reduces eye inflammation, which prompts better production of high-quality tears. There are many OTC Omega-3 supplements that you can buy from your local pharmacy.
You can consume foods with high amounts of this nutrient, such as flaxseed oil or ground flaxseed, soybean oil, palm oil, chia seeds, fatty fish like tuna and salmon, eggs supplemented with Omega-3, and walnuts.
5. Treating the inflammation
Dry eye caused by inflammation can be treated using doctor-prescribed eye ointment or drops. Unlike artificial eyes, you cannot purchase this product without the ophthalmologist's order. Therefore, you need to get a checkup with your eye doctor first. Alternatively, you can use a warm compress and get a lid massage to reduce the inflammation around your eyes.
6. Hydrating properly
Water is the body's natural fuel that helps combat dry eye syndrome, too. Make sure to drink enough water, about eight to ten glasses a day, or more if you feel thirsty due to increased activity.
The causes, symptoms, and treatments of dry eye in this article can help you understand how to protect your eyes from this condition. If you want to maintain your eye health, you need to prevent the factors that dry your eyes and choose eyeglasses that offer outstanding protection.