Dry eye is one of the most common eye disorders. It occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or when they are of poor quality. Dry eyes make your eyes feel gritty and itchy, and uncomfortable.
Sometimes it’s only temporary and your symptoms resolve on their own. But many cases can be chronic. Dr. Vishal Patel, of Eye Care Solutions, offers these tips to help you manage your chronic dry eye symptoms.
When dry eye becomes chronic
With chronic dry eye, your symptoms are persistent. And even if they improve, they can easily flare up again. Chronic dry eye is caused by other health problems, such as eye gland conditions.
If your dry eyes aren’t responding to home remedies, contact Dr. Patel. He performs a detailed examination to see what’s causing your symptoms so you can experience relief.
Use eye drops to add moisture
Dr. Patel recommends trying over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops first. But in many cases, OTC drops don’t work as well for chronic dry eye.
If OTC drops don’t help you, Dr. Patel can write you a prescription for eye drops or ointment. Prescription eye drops reduce inflammation in your tear glands and promote tear production.
Cut back your screen time
When you look at a screen, whether it’s your phone or computer, you blink less. This really dries out your eyes.
There’s a rule called the 20/20/20 rule. Every 20 minutes, you take 20 seconds and look away from your screen at something 20 feet away. Doing this can really improve your symptoms.
Tear duct plugs
Tear duct plugs are a good option if you have severe dry eyes. Dr. Patel puts small plugs in your tear ducts that slow tear drainage, keeping moisture in your eyes longer.
A few small tweaks to your daily routine can reduce the severity of your dry eyes. Wearing sunglasses, staying away from cigarette smoke, and increasing air humidity can help reduce your symptoms.
Protect your eyes with sunglasses
Wearing sunglasses protects your eyes from UV rays and wind. Both of these can reduce moisture in your eyes. Make sure the sunglasses have side shields for best results.
Cigarette smoke can irritate your eyes and make your symptoms much worse. If you’re a smoker, Dr. Patel recommends cutting back until your symptoms improve.
Dry air can irritate your eyes and make them itchy. Using a cool-mist humidifier adds moisture to the air in your home, so your eyes don’t dry out as often.
Try omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can reduce inflammation. Many of Dr. Patel’s patients say upping their omega-3 intake helps their symptoms. To administer, take supplements or eat foods like salmon and flaxseed.
Take care of your eyes
If you keep your eyelids clean, you may find some relief. Holding a warm washcloth on your eyes helps clear your oil glands. You can also use diluted baby shampoo to clean your eyelashes and eyelids.
Ready to manage your chronic dry eyes? Set up your appointment at Eye Care Solutions, located in Milton, Georgia. We offer a variety of effective treatments for dry eyes. Use our online booking tool or give our office a call.