It is not uncommon to experience dry eyes now and then. A day in the sun, extra time spent in front of a computer screen, or spring allergy season can trigger a gritty or dry, burning sensation in your eyes. But for some people, dry eyes can become a chronic condition. Here are five tips that can help you treat dryness and make your eyes more comfortable.

Tip #1 – Use Artificial Tears and Lubricating Eyedrops

Typically, the first step to treating eye dryness is to use artificial tears and lubricating eye drops to soothe, lubricate, and moisturize your eyes. These eye drops are available in a variety of viscosities. Drops with a low viscosity are more watery and can provide quick relief but need to be applied more often because the relief is short-lived. Those with higher viscosity are more gel-like and provide longer-lasting relief. However, this type can significantly blur your vision for a few minutes after you use them. Therefore, they are usually recommended for use only at bedtime.

Tip #2 – Protect Your Dry Eyes from the Environment

Dry air, heat, bright sun, wind, and smoke by themselves or in any combination can wreak havoc with your eyes. Wraparound sunglasses can help protect your eyes outdoors. However, it is essential to limit your exposure to cigarette smoke and blowing air if you have chronic dry eyes.

Tip #3 – Remember to Rest Your Eyes and Blink

Spending hours working at a computer or watching television can also dry your eyes out. Remember to take breaks every 10 minutes to rest your eyes. It is also important to blink your eyes to help them produce more moisture to replace what is lost.

Tip #4 – Take Care of Your Eyelids

If you have dry eyes, it could be caused by the condition of the glands in your eyelids. These glands produce oil that helps moisturize and lubricate your eyes. If these glands are blocked, the oil cannot get out, and you may be more prone to developing styes. Carefully wash your eyelids daily with a clean washcloth using warm water and a mild soap or baby shampoo.

Tip #5 – Talk to Your Eye Doctor about Treatment Options

Make sure to visit your eye doctor if you suffer from chronic dry eyes. Your doctor can recommend treatment options, including prescription eye drops, such as Restasis or punctal plugs to slow down the draining of your eyes’ tear film.

Don’t suffer from dry eyes any longer. Call (602) 955-2700 to schedule an appointment with one of Valley Eyecare Center’s eye doctors.