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Dry, itchy, and irritated eyes are no fun. Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a multifactorial condition that is generally caused by poor tear quality, insufficient tears, allergies, or other irritants. The symptoms of DES can range from slightly uncomfortable to debilitating and can include:
- Watery eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
If you suspect you have dry eyes, speak with Dr. Anania about the latest treatments to manage or eliminate your symptoms. In the meantime, below are a few of our tips to ease dry eye symptoms for lasting relief.
Here Are Our Top 6 Tips for Dry Eye
1. Use Artificial Tears
Artificial tears can provide the eyes with the moisture they lack, thus relieving irritation and discomfort. Dr. Anania can advise on which lubricating drops best suit your eye condition.
2. Stay Hydrated
This may sound obvious, but keeping hydrated is a crucial component in managing DES. Since the eyes are part of a larger system (the body), dehydration will affect them as well. Try increasing your water intake to see if symptoms clear up on their own. You’ll want to stick to drinking water and avoid excess caffeine or alcohol, as these can dehydrate the body. Many health authorities recommend drinking about 2 liters of water per day to stay hydrated.
3. Eat More Fish or Flax seeds
Healthy tears are made of water, oil, and mucus, and any imbalance of any of these components can result in DES. Including the recommended amount of Omega-3 fats in your diet can help support healthy tear production. The U.S Department of Agriculture recommends consuming at least 250mg of Omega-3 fatty acids daily.
4. Shield Your Eyes
Wearing protective eyewear, such as wraparound sunglasses or UV blocking lenses, can shelter your eyes from harmful debris and irritants in the air. Breezy weather can also contribute to dry eyes, as the wind causes the eye’s tear film to evaporate faster than the normal pace.
5. Check Your Surroundings
Be aware of environmental factors that may be contributing to dry eyes. Always make sure your car air conditioner vents are pointed away from your eyes so as not to cause irritation. If you style your hair with a blow dryer, be sure to avoid the eye area, as the warmth and forced air will cause the tears to prematurely evaporate. Additionally, if you find that your home or work environment is too dry, try using a humidifier next to your desk or by your bed to put moisture back into the air.
6. See Your Eye Doctor
This is perhaps the most important step in treating your dry eyes. An eye exam with Dr. Anania will help determine the underlying cause of the dryness and best treatment options. Our goal here at Brown's Eye Center is to alleviate any eye discomfort and increase our patients’ overall quality of life. If you or a loved one are suffering from DES, schedule your appointment today and find the relief you deserve.