Every year, millions of people suffer from dry eye. The good news is that there are many things you can do if you have dry eyes to maintain your eyes healthy and pleasant.
When your eyes don’t produce enough tears to stay wet or when your tears don’t function properly, dry eye occurs. Your eyes may feel irritated as a result, and in some cases, vision issues may result.
What are the symptoms of dry eye?
- A scratchy feeling as though something is in your eye
- Burning or stinging feeling in your eyes
- Red eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Blurry vision
What causes dry eye?
Tears are often produced by glands above the eyes to keep the eyes moist. When your tears fail to do their job, dry eye occurs. This may indicate:
- Not enough tears are produced by your glands to keep your eyes moist.
- Your tears dry up too quickly
- Your tears simply aren’t effective enough to keep your eyes moist.
Am I at risk for dry eye?
- Anyone can develop dry eyes, however, some factors may increase your risk, including:
- Are at least 50 years old
- Are female
- Put on contacts.
- Do not consume enough omega-3 fatty acids or vitamin A, which are both found in foods like carrots, broccoli, and liver (found in fish, walnuts, and vegetable oils)
- Suffer from autoimmune diseases such as lupus or Sjögren syndrome
What’s the treatment for dry eye?
The cause of your symptoms will usually determine how to treat your dry eye. Many different types of treatment are available to help you feel better and maintain the health of your eyes.
Prescription medicines. Your eye doctor might prescribe you cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast if your dry eye condition is more severe (Xiidra). Both of these medications are eye drops that can encourage your eyes to produce more tears.
Lifestyle changes. Your doctor could recommend changes to help protect your eyes if something in your life or environment is causing your dry eye.
Your doctor could advise you to try a different medication, for instance, if one that you are taking for another medical issue is causing dry eyes.
It might also help your eyes if you:
- Try to stay away from air conditioning, wind, and smoke.
- Use a humidifier to prevent your home’s air from becoming too dry
- Set limits on screen time and take breaks from it.
- When outside, put on a pair of sunglasses with a rim.
- Try to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water per day.
- Sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours each night.