Dry eyes is a condition caused by inadequate eye lubrication – i.e. a lack of moisture on the surface of the eye. The result is feelings of discomfort, itchiness and double focusing your vision – not pleasant stuff!
If you’re reading this, then it’s likely you’ve experienced dry eyes before and are looking for a relief for this nuisance.
Tears are important for maintaining general eye health and keeping your vision clear. They provide lubrication, wash away foreign substances, keep the eye surface smooth and clean, and reduce the risk of infection.
Fortunately, numerous treatments exist though they vary depending with the causes and the extremity of the condition.
Common Causes of Dry Eyes
Dry eyes are generally caused by the lack of tears needed to properly lubricate the eyes. This can occur due to a number of reasons.
- Age – As you age, the glands that produce tears age with you, so you don’t produce as many tears. A majority of people above the age of 60 tend to experience dry eye symptoms.
- Illness – Certain medical conditions and illnesses reduce tear production.
- Environmental Conditions – Environmental conditions like wind, smoke or dry climate are common conditions that can cause tears to quickly evaporate, resulting in dry eye symptoms.
- Reduced Blinking – When you’re focused intently on something in front of you, you tend to blink less. This is particularly prominent when using devices like iPhones, tablets and computers as these devices keep your eyes engaged for long periods of time and expose you to stimulating light waves.
- Gender – Studies show that women develop dry eyes more than men. This is due to the fact that women experience hormonal changes throughout their life.
Common Dry Eye Symptoms
- A stinging, burning or itchy sensation
- Light sensitivity
- Eye redness
- The sensation of having something in your eyes
- Watery eyes – a confusing symptom which occurs when your eyes are irritated by dryness and send a signal to your glands for more lubrication.
- Blurred vision
- Eye fatigue or Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
Simple Remedies to Relieve Dry Eye Symptoms
Artificial Tears or Eye Drops
The most common treatment for dry eye symptoms is the use of artificial tear drops or ointments. When using artificial eye drops, remember that eye drops will work differently for everyone.
Eye drops also come in different levels of viscosity, which will have an impact on your experience with them.
The ‘light’ eye-drops are watery and provide quick relief without any blurring of vision. However, the effect is very short-lived and may therefore require frequent applications. ‘Heavy’ eye-drops are more gel-like and provide long lasting-relief. Unfortunately, they can cause significant blurring of vision for some time after application hence, making them more suitable for use before bed.
Take the time to figure out the best solution for you!
Vitamins and Supplements
Nutrition is an important part of eye health, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering all the benefits of Vitamin A. When ingested regularly, Vitamin A can decrease the risk of Macular Degeneration and improve retention of your peripheral vision as you age.
Omega-3 fatty acids such ash can decrease dry eye symptoms by helping the oil-making glands in your eyes work better and ease irritation.
Home Remedies for Dry Eyes
If you prefer a natural approach towards reducing dry eyes symptoms there are simple home remedies that you can use to control symptoms of dry eyes.
Take Frequent Breaks from Screens
When using computer devices, we tend to blink less often and this can cause dry eye symptoms. It is important to blink as often as possible, especially when in front of screens.
You can also use Ocushield Screen Protectors which soften the effects of screen time and protect your retinas from harmful blue light. This keeps your eyes feeling fresh, reduces eye dryness and enables you focus for longer periods.
Remove Makeup Before Bed
Always wash off your make up before bed time. Makeup and other products (especially eye liner) clog the openings of the Meibomian glands at the base of the eyelashes, resulting into the dysfunction of the glands and causing dry eye.
Drinking lots of water will help keep your eyes moist since water is a requirement to stay healthy. Enough said!