Dry eyes occur when your tear glands can’t produce enough tears or produce poor-quality tears. This eye condition causes more than a gritty, uncomfortable feeling. It can also hurt your vision. Some treatments and home remedies can help decrease your dry eye symptoms.
Try Artificial Tears or Ointments
Artificial tears (OTC eye drops) may be all you need if you have moderate symptoms of dry eyes. You may have to use them several times a day to moisten your eyes. But if you find yourself needing them more than once every two hours, you should use preservative-free artificial tears.
Ointments and lubricating gels can also help. But because they are thicker and tend to make vision blurry, they’re best used right before bedtime. Speak with your ophthalmologist about the best artificial tears and ointments for your condition.
Use Warm Compresses
If your eyes feel too dry or irritated, warm compresses can help release some of the oil in your meibomian glands (tiny oil glands in the eyelids) and reduce dry eye symptoms, at least in the short term. Just hold a warm, wet cloth over your eyes for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Use a Mild Soap
Give your eyes a little more TLC when you wash your face. Gently massage your closed eyes using a mild soap or baby shampoo to help ease irritation and improve the quality of your tears. Be sure to rinse completely when finished.
Add Fatty Acids to Your Diet
Supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids may relieve the symptoms of dry eyes. This fat reduces eye inflammation and allows for more tear production. You can take supplements or increase your consumption of foods rich in this nutrient, including flaxseed, chia seeds, palm oil, walnuts, sardines, salmon, and mackerel.
Be Aware of Your Environment
Environmental factors can cause and worsen dry eyes. When spending time outdoors or in high-altitude areas, be sure to use appropriate eyewear to protect your eyes from blowing winds, dust, debris, and the sun’s UV rays. Limit your exposure to hair dryers, fans, car heaters, and air conditioners.
Avoid sitting too close to any heating sources like heat pumps, radiators, or ambient heating. If you smoke, work with your doctor to develop a quit-smoking strategy. If you don’t, avoid exposure to second-hand smoke. It may be helpful to use a humidifier to add moisture to the air.
Take Eye Breaks
Frequent reading, computer use, TV watching, and other tasks that require visual concentration can dry out your eyes. So, it’s important to take periodic eye breaks and blink more frequently so your eyes can regain some of their moisture.
Consider IPL Dry Eye Treatment
Using the healing power of intense pulsed light, IPL dry eye treatment reduces dry eye discomfort. It helps improve the function of eye glands that keep your eyes lubricated. Most patients report that their eyes feel better after treatment, along with an improvement in their vision.
The IPL treatment is a painless procedure that is performed in our office. IPL shields will protect your eyes from the light. A thin layer of cooling gel will be applied to the treatment area. The doctor will use a small handheld device that administers pulses of light to your cheek and the surrounding area.
Talk to Your Ophthalmologist
If your dry eye symptoms get worse, talk to your eye doctor. In some cases, small lifestyle changes aren’t always enough to provide relief from dry eye symptoms. Your ophthalmologist may prescribe medication and advanced treatments to reverse or manage your eye condition.
If you’re suffering from debilitating symptoms caused by dry eyes, you can rely on the skilled team at Valley Eyecare Center to provide premium diagnosis and treatment. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.