How to Treat Dry Eyes
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from dry eyes, you know how uncomfortable and irritating it can be. You may have tried various treatments, but nothing seems to help. In this blog post, we will give a brief overview of this frustrating condition, and discuss the different ways to treat dry eyes and find relief from the symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes are a very common condition, especially among women and older adults. Symptoms can vary from person to person, but the most common include:
- A sensation of burning, stinging, or pain in the eyes
- A feeling of having something in the eye
- Itchy eyes
- Red and watery eyes
- Blurred vision
- Pain on waking up or when opening eyelids in the morning
These problems can cause sensitivity to light, and can also make it particularly difficult to wear contact lenses.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
There are many different factors that can contribute to dry eyes. These include but are not limited to:
- Health Conditions (especially certain autoimmune diseases)
- Dry climate
- Heating and air conditioning
- Windy or smoky environment
- Prolonged use of computers or other digital devices
- Certain medications (antihistamines, beta-blockers, antidepressants)
- Cosmetic & skincare products
- Recent laser eye surgery
Dry eyes occur when the tear glands don’t produce enough tears, or when the tears evaporate too quickly. This can be due to a number of different reasons. For example, as we age, our tear glands produce fewer tears. And if you suffer from an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, you may have an increased risk of dry eyes.
The Importance of Tears
Tears are essential for maintaining healthy eyes. They protect the eye from infection and keep it lubricated.
Tears are made up of three layers:
- The Outer lipid (oil) layer – prevents evaporation
- The Middle aqueous (watery) layer – contains enzymes that help fight infection
- The Inner mucus layer – helps spread the tear film evenly over the surface of the eye
If any of these layers is deficient, it can lead to dry eyes and the symptoms that come with it.
How to Treat Dry Eyes
There are several different ways to treat dry eyes, and the best approach will depend on the underlying cause and the severity of your symptoms. If your dry eyes are due to a health condition, you should speak with your doctor about possible treatments.
If your dry eyes are not caused by a health condition, there are several things you can do to find relief from the symptoms. Some common treatments include:
- Use artificial tears or eye drops to help lubricate your eyes and relieve symptoms. There are a variety of over-the-counter products available, so experiment to find the one that works best for you.
- Wear sunglasses or protective eyewear to shield your eyes from the wind and sun. It is essential to protect your eyes from harmful elements and also from dust and other particles. Wearing glasses with clear lenses (with or without your lens prescription in them) can make a huge difference with exposure to things such as air-conditioning.
- Avoiding smoke and other irritants.
- If you live or work in a dry climate, use a humidifier in your home or office to add moisture to the air.
- Reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol.
- If you wear contacts, switch to glasses. This will give your eyes a much-needed break from the irritants that can cause dryness.
- Be sure to blink often when working on the computer or watching television. This helps keep your eyes lubricated and prevents them from drying out.
- Take regular breaks while using computers or other digital devices. If possible, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
- Use a warm compress on your eyes for a few minutes each day. This can help loosen any debris that may be trapped in your tear ducts and improve drainage.
Dry eyes can be a nuisance initially but left untreated over the long term, can lead to more serious problems like corneal ulcers and even permanent vision loss. There are a number of effective ways to treat dry eyes, so there’s no need to suffer in silence.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of dry eyes, be sure to see your doctor or an optometrist to find the best treatment for you. And don’t forget to check out our collection of glasses and sunglasses to help protect your eyes and ensure optimal eye health - we have styles to suit everyone!