And What to do When it’s Chronic
Most people deal with occasional dry eye symptoms. Maybe you binge-watched your favorite show last night for one too many episodes and woke up feeling grainy-eyed. Perhaps you spent the day enjoying the great outdoors, but now you’re really not enjoying the fallout of itchy, irritated eyes that you can’t seem to stop rubbing.
This kind of dry eye is situational. Occasional dry eye is not a major concern and can usually be handled easily with some home remedies. Have occasional dry eye? Try these tips for relief:
- Warm compress. Mom was right (again). A warm washcloth across your eyes can help ease occasional dry, irritated, itchy eyes. Tears are made of oil, water and mucus, and your eyes need all three to stay moist and healthy. Inflamed eyelids may clog the oil-making glands and lead to dry eye. To help ease irritation and loosen clogged oils, wet a clean washcloth with warm water, wring it out, and place it over your closed eyes for at least a minute. Gently press the edge of your eyelid with your finger to help squeeze out the clogged oils. The moisture and heat help loosen up the clogged oils in the glands. Plus, it just feels great 🙂
- Blink more. We know; duh. But here’s why. Most of us use smartphones, tablets, computer screens and other electronics for a good portion of the day. Staring at a screen curbs the number of times you blink per minute. So try to blink often when you’re online. Follow the 20/20 rule: close your eyes every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.
- Stay hydrated. Every part of your body needs water to stay healthy and this includes your eyes. Drinking water helps keep them moist. But don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start drinking. By then, you may already be slightly dehydrated. Most experts agree we should aim for eight to 10 glasses throughout the day.
- Use a humidifier. This can add moisture to dry indoor air. This tip comes in handy, especially here in Las Vegas where the climate is dry and arid. An air cleaner that filters dust and other particles may also help with dry eye symptoms.
And a word of caution: Over-the-counter eye drops work like your own tears and may help in some cases. Some have preservatives added so they last longer, but using them too often can irritate your eyes. What doesn’t work for dry eyes? Drops that take away redness, which, over time, can irritate your eyes even more.
What Causes Dry Eye Anyway?
The basic definition of dry eye is when your eyes don’t produce the right quantity or quality of tears to be healthy or comfortable. Dry eye is a chronic condition affecting over 100 million people worldwide and is especially common in Nevada as the region has the lowest humidity on record in the country. This contributes to what is known as evaporative dry eye affecting the Meibomian glands. This is the leading cause of dry eye.
Solutions for Chronic Dry Eye
If you’ve tried the above-mentioned tips and your eyes are still bothering you, don’t lose hope. Just because dry eye is common doesn’t mean you have to just deal with it. At Center For Sight, a vision specialist can perform a series of thorough diagnostic tests to evaluate your unique ocular surface condition.
At Center For Sight Las Vegas, we have a variety of choices for treating dry eye. Treatments range from eye drops to specially designed contacts lenses and more. The severity and the root cause of your dry eye will determine which treatment is the best choice for you.
The physicians of Center For Sight often recommend LipiFlow for many patients dealing with dry eye. In addition, eye drops, prescriptions medications, Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), blinking exercises, punctal plugs, eyelid scrubs and warm compresses can be used in treating dry eye depending upon the severity and root cause of the condition.
Schedule your dry eye consultation with one of the specialists at Center For Sight Las Vegas today.