When Dry Eye Gets In Your Way
Dry eye is a simple eye problem with some complex causes. It happens when your eyes aren’t hydrated enough, either from a lack of tears or from having poor quality tears.
Poor quality tears mean that your eyes don’t produce enough of one part of the three layers that make up a normal tear. The three layers are oil, water, and mucus.
A low tear quantity is usually age-related, but not always. Low tear quality happens because the patient isn’t producing enough of the first tear layer.
The oil layer coats the outside of the tear, creating a shield to lock in the moisture. If tears lack the oil layer, they may evaporate before delivering nutrients to the eye.
When tears lack quality or there aren’t enough in the eye, you’ll experience symptoms like:
- uncomfortable gritty sensation
- light sensitivity
- watery eyes
Treating dry eye naturally
Successful treatment of dry eye comes down to attacking it from many sources. This could mean anything from changing habits, controlling your environment, or taking medications.
You could also undergo simple medical procedures. It likely means a combination of at least a few of them. Here are some examples of ways to reduce dry eye naturally:
Don’t smoke as much or not at all
Smoking is bad for almost every part of your body and the eyes are no exception! Smoking increases your odds of contracting eye diseases.
Smoking also dries out your eyes and causes them to get irritated. This continues the annoying dry eye cycle of symptoms!
Spend less time on the computer
When we are looking at a computer for a long period of time, you begin blinking less. Computers are great, but you need to take breaks from the screen!
When we blink less, the eyes are less hydrated, which leads to dry eye. If you know you’ll be using a computer for a project or other reason, set a timer to remind yourself to blink. It seems silly but it can make a big difference!
Use humidifiers in your home
Increasing the ambient air moisture where you spend a lot of your time is a great way to keep dry eye at bay. In the winter, the air inside your house gets drier, so having a humidifier can help put moisture into the air.
You need to supply your body with enough water to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable. Aim to drink at least 8 8 oz glasses of water each day to stay hydrated!
Treating dry eye with Vermont Eye Laser
Ask about tear-inducing eye drops from your eye doctor. They can help not only give you short term relief, but they could help with long term dry eye problems.
Another option to try is punctal plugs. These plugs are directly inserted into the drainage canal of the eye. With punctal plugs, tears are physically blocked from draining out of your eyes.
The procedure is simple, painless, and fast. The plugs can be removed if they aren’t working for you.
If the above doesn’t work, your eye doctor may recommend meibomian gland expression. The meibomian glands produce the oil in your tears, but they can become blocked. When this happens, you experience uncomfortable dry eye symptoms.
Schedule an appointment at Vermont Eye Laser in Burlington to find out more about dry eye. We can help you take control of your dry eye once and for all!