Dry eye syndrome might not sound like anything serious, but it’s a common condition that can affect your quality of life. Having dry eyes makes it harder to be productive at work, and it can cause uncomfortable and painful symptoms like itching, burning, pain and redness. Fortunately, there are ways to treat dry eye so that you can improve your quality of life and relieve distressing symptoms.
What is Dry Eye Syndrome? Is it the Same as Having Dry Eyes?
Dry eye disease occurs when your tears aren’t able to produce adequate lubrication for your eyes. There are many reasons for this, such as producing poor-quality tears. Not having regular lubrication leads to inflammation, damaging the surface of the eye.
So, having dry eyes on a regular basis probably means you have dry eye syndrome. This is different from having occasional dry, itchy eyes from allergies or a cold. The good news is that you can often treat dry eyes the same way. If you do not respond to simple home remedies, talk to your eye specialist about prescription eye drops.
3 Easy Ways to Relieve Yourself from Painful Dry Eyes
When your eyes are feeling dry, there are a few quick things you can do.
1. Wash your eyelids and lashes.
Wash your eyelids and lashes when you feel your eyes start to get dry. Use warm water and baby shampoo – a preservative-free eyelid cleanser works well, too. The purpose of this is to give this area a little TLC while removing makeup and other irritants. Follow up with a warm compress or towel to help your eyes regain moisture. You can also buy an eye compress that heats up in the microwave.
2. Take frequent computer breaks and blink often.
Many jobs require people to sit in front of a computer all day, every day. If you have a desk job, you’ll want to be mindful about taking breaks. The AAO recommends the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, spend at least 20 seconds looking at something 20-feet away. Staring at the computer up close strains the eyes, so you need to give them a break.
Blinking also helps keep the eyes moist. It helps renew tear film, which is important for protecting the eyes and keeping them moisturized. And, it’s an easy thing to do! As your eyes start to feel dry, blink more often – maybe 30 times a minute.
3. Use the right eye drops.
The thing that will probably bring you the most relief is using the right eye drops. Mayo Clinic recommends preservative-free eye drops, as drops with preservatives can cause irritation, especially if you use them frequently. Also, steer clear of drops that treat red eye because these constrict blood vessels and can actually make your symptoms worse. Look for artificial tears instead.
Schedule an Appointment with a Dry Eye Specialist
If these simple techniques no longer work for you, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. It’s possible that a prescription-strength eye medication will work better, or you may benefit from a procedure that closes up the tear ducts so you can keep more of your tears. Empire Retina Consultants can help with all of your dry eye needs, so schedule your appointment today!