Do you suffer from dry eyes? You aren’t alone. In fact, according to a recent study, approximately 16.4 million Americans have been diagnosed with Dry Eye Disease/Syndrome. Dry eye is characterized by a chronic imbalance of lubrication or moisture on the eye’s surface, which is needed to keep your eyes healthy, comfortable, and seeing well.
Without that critical layer of moisture, eyes can become irritated and cause symptoms such as burning, itching, aching, heaviness, dryness, redness, light sensitivity, blurred vision, inflammation, and more. When left untreated, it’s possible that dry eye can cause permanent damage to the surface of your eyes.
What Causes Dry Eye?
There are a number of factors that can cause or contribute to dry eye, including:
- Computer Use
- Wearing Contact Lenses
- Dry Indoor or Outdoor Environment
- Air Travel
- Certain Health Conditions
- Certain Medications
- Eyelid Issues
- And more
Wearing a mask, such as those worn during the COVID-19 pandemic, can also contribute to dry eye by forcing air out of the top of the mask and onto the eye’s surface. Choosing a mask with an adjustable nose wire may help prevent this issue.
Eye Drops for Dry Eye
There are a number of over-the-counter eye drops available for mild cases of dry eye. Regular use of artificial tears or other lubricating drops may be all you need to find relief. Tyson Eye recommends preservative free over the counter artificial tears. There are also several brands of prescription eye drops that are specially designed to treat dry eye, including Restastis and Xiidra, which are typically applied twice a day, 12 hours apart. Steroid eye drops may also be recommended for short-term use, often in conjunction with another prescription, to help reduce inflammation and other symptoms.
Other Treatments for Dry Eye
If your dry eye issues are more severe, there are other treatments that you may want to discuss with your eye doctor. In many cases, meibomian gland treatment using the iLux® system offers relief to those who suffer with dry eye. Talk to your doctor to learn more about treatment options.
Home Remedies for Dry Eyes
Finally, if your dry eye is just a mild annoyance, you may want to try some do-it-yourself remedies to find relief. These include the following:
- Take nutritional supplements like omega-3 fatty acids or flaxseed oil
- Drink more water
- Blink more often
- Take frequent breaks from the computer
- Properly remove all eye makeup
- Gently wash your eyelids
- Consider warm compresses
- Wear sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays and feature wrap-around protection
- Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry
- Stop or reduce contact lens use
Also, some medications can contribute to dry eye, so talk to your PCP about possibly adjusting your medications if dry eye is a problem.
Tyson Eye is regarded as one of the premier eye care centers in Southwest Florida. Our surgeons and doctors have helped thousands of Floridians enjoy better vision and have consistently introduced break-through technology to the area. If you are suffering with dry eye symptoms, we’re here to help. We are committed to excellence by delivering modern technology with old fashioned concern.
Call us at 239-542-2020 or request an appointment today!