Dry Eye is a Condition That Can Often be Treated at Home
If you’ve ever had dry eye before, you know just how frustrating it can be. An estimated 5 million people in the United States suffer from dry eye on a regular basis, making it one of the most common eye conditions. For many dry eye sufferers, at-home remedies provide necessary relief. For others, a doctor’s visit and a comprehensive eye exam may be needed in order to get to the bottom of what is really going on.
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition that usually gets worse over time. The severity of the condition will depend on what the root cause of the problem is. If you are someone who suffers from dry eye and aren’t sure why, we encourage you to make an appointment to discuss your concerns with one of our knowledgeable optometrists.
Symptoms of Dry Eye
Tears are very important to the overall health and well-being of the eyes. They help promote clear vision, keep any infections at bay, and work overtime to ensure the eyes are clean and moist. When they aren’t doing their job, it may result in dry eye syndrome.
Some of the most common symptoms of dry eye include:
- A gritty feeling in the eyes
- Stinging or burning
- Watering of the eyes followed by extended periods of dryness
- Discharge from the eye
- Blurry vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Difficulty reading or working on the computer for prolonged periods of time
- Tired eyes
- Discomfort when wearing contact lenses
Common Causes of Dry Eye
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), dry eye happens when the individual cannot produce the quantity (and quality) of tears necessary to properly lubricate and nourish the eye. When this happens, it can result in some serious discomfort, pain, and redness.
There are many different causes of dry eye, including:
- Certain medications, including nasal decongestants, birth control pills, antidepressants, and antihistamines
- Infrequent blinking because of prolonged use of smartphones, tablets, and computer screens
- Wearing contacts for too long
- Complications from certain autoimmune disorders
- Chronic conjunctivitis
- Skin conditions
- Nutritional deficiencies
At-Home Remedies for Dry Eye
The following at-home remedies may be extremely effective in relieving dry eye:
- Make sure you are blinking frequently (10 to 15 times per minute is healthy)
- Take frequent computer breaks (the 20-20-20 rule is recommended: every 20 minutes look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds)
- Cleanse your eyelids and the surrounding area with a gentle cleanser to reduce inflammation
- Applying a warm compress to your eyes can encourage the production of lipids, which can increase tear quality
- Take a fish oil supplement
- Try using a humidifier or air filter to keep the air in your home clean
- An anti-inflammatory diet may help reduce dry eye symptoms
- Lower caffeine and alcohol consumption
- Get at least 8 hours of sleep at night
- Eat lots of dark, leafy greens
- Take Vitamins D and Vitamin A, both of which can help reduce the symptoms of dry eye
- Stay hydrated
If you have tried the above and are still suffering from dry eye syndrome, please contact First Eye Care DFW today and schedule a comprehensive eye exam.