How to Bring Hydration Back to Your Dry Eyes
Dry eye is an annoying, uncomfortable condition which affects millions of people. It occurs when tears fail to keep the eye surface lubricated. Friction results in eye sensitivity, redness, and irritation.
Sometimes dry eye results from inadequate tear production. The makeup of tears may be less lubricating in some individuals. Whatever the origin, dry eye is uncomfortable. Eyes may burn, and sting. At times they may be dry and at others red and watery. Blurring of vision and eye fatigue may occur.
Fortunately, several types of treatment are readily available.
Underlying Cause Determines Treatment of Dry Eye
Dry eye may arise from a wide array of causes. Therefore evaluation by an optometrist is necessary. An eye specialist can give a precise diagnosis and prescribe an effective treatment plan for your eyes.
Common Causes of Dry Eye
Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs may contribute to dry eyes, below are just a few medications that are known to cause dry eyes in individuals:
- Hormone therapies
- Allergy medications
- Prescriptions used to treat Parkinson’s disease
- High blood pressure medications
- Anxiety reducing pharmaceuticals
Sometimes a simple change in medication resolves eye discomfort and dryness.
Lifestyle Changes Reduce Dry Eye Symptoms
Here are some tips for preventing and reducing dry eye symptoms:
- Protect your eyes from harsh light, wind, and temperature extremes. Wrap around sunglasses provides excellent protection from the elements. Wear good quality sunglasses whenever you are outdoors.
- Environmental allergies may contribute to dry eyes. Take preventative steps so that you can reduce your sensitivity. If seasonal allergy symptoms are present, consult with your doctor or pharmacist regarding remedies that have a reduced likelihood of causing dry eyes.
- Use natural cleansers on your body and in your environment. Only use hypoallergenic products on your face.
- Avoid smoky or smoggy conditions when possible. Don’t sit next to fans, heaters, wood stoves, or air conditioners.
If you experience excessive sweating in the hands, armpits, feet or face, you may have a condition called hyperhidrosis. Learn about hyperhidrosis here.
- Some people find that sleeping with an eye mask on relieves discomfort. Try placing a moist cloth over your eye area. Black tea bags reduce puffiness and irritation when applied to closed eyes.
- Avoid eye strain. Limit reading, television and computer time. Make sure that you have adequate light while performing detailed tasks. Avoid night driving if that is uncomfortable.
- Drink plenty of water. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol as both compounds are drying.
- Do not smoke. If you are a smoker, talk with your doctor about quit smoking programs and treatment options.
- Eat a well-balanced diet. Include plenty of colorful produce. Be sure to consume purple, orange, red, yellow, and green fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. They contain phytochemicals which improve eye health.
- Take a high-quality multi vitamin daily. Several vitamin and mineral products are readily available which support eye health.
Medication and Professional Treatment of Dry Eye
Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops, gels, and ointments can provide temporary relief for mild or intermittent dry eye. Don’t use drops which contain antihistamine medications designed to relieve eye redness as antihistamines are drying.
Dry eye may require treatment with prescription medications, surgery or other procedures.
Advanced Treatment Options for Dry Eye
Plugs can be surgically implanted into tear ducts to prevent drainage of tears. Sometimes the ducts, which drain tears away from the eyes are surgically closed in an attempt to keep the eye moist. Medications and technology are used to increase tear production.
Dry Eyes: Help is Available Now!
While experts are exploring even better treatment options than currently available, help for dry eyes is available now. You don’t have to be plagued by dry eyes.
Talk with your health care providers and an optometrist, and Implement the lifestyle changes outlined above and you may notice your eye health and comfort level improve.