Many people suffer from dry eyes, which can be quite annoying and painful. Dry eyes can even result in reduced vision. The term dry eye syndrome refers to dry eyes caused by reduced tears production or poor tears quality. If you suffer from dry eyes, don’t worry, you are not alone, and there are many ways to treat dry eyes so that the symptoms are elevated.
Several different home remedies can also be used to relieve the symptoms of dry eyes.
If you have been suffering from dry eyes, you might experience symptoms like blurry vision and a burning sensation in your eyes. Your eyes might feel itchy and sore. They can even turn red and become sensitive to light. Eyes become watery, and you might experience sharp pain in the eye. These are common symptoms of dry eyes. They can be of two types:
Chronic Dry Eyes
Chronic means that the condition has been going on for a long time. If a person has been experiencing dry eyes for a long time, he most likely has chronic dry eyes. The symptoms of a person suffering from chronic dry eyes may get better, but they never really go away. It usually occurs if your eyes are not producing enough tears. Your tears might be evaporating too fast, or there might be inflammation around your eye, causing a reduction in tears production.
Moreover, an underlying condition could cause chronic dry eyes.
Temporary Dry Eyes
Temporary dry eyes mean that the symptoms of dry eyes only occur for a short while, and then your eyes become healthy again. Many environmental factors can cause this problem. Temporary dry eyes are usually easily avoidable once you recognize what is causing the condition.
What Cause Dry Eyes?
Although many factors can contribute to dry eyes, some of the usual culprits are given below:
- Underlying Condition
Dry eyes can be caused by an underlying condition, such as skin disease, allergies, or any condition affecting eye glands. Inflammation around the eye can also cause it.
- Being Older Than 50
The production of tears begins to decline as you get older. So it is common for people over the age of 50 to experience dry eyes.
If you do not consume enough vitamin A or omega-3 fatty acids, you might experience dry eyes. Vitamin A can be found in carrots, peaches, spinach, broccoli, etc. Omega-3 fatty acids, on the other hand, can be found in vegetable oils and fish.
- Contact Lenses
Wearing contact lenses for long periods can cause dry eyes. Contact lenses can hinder the spread of lacrimal fluid over your eye’s surface, causing you to experience the symptoms of dry eyes.
- Too Much Screen Time
Too much screen time is also a common cause behind dry eyes. Studies show that people blink less often when staring at a screen. Blinking less often gives tears more time to evaporate, resulting in dry eyes. The brightness of the screen also contributes to dry eyes.
- Environmental Factors
Dry or windy environments can cause your eyes to dry up much faster because tears dry up much faster in these kinds of environments. Additionally, heated or air-conditioned environments can also cause dry eyes.
- Smoking or Drinking
Consumption of even a small amount of alcohol can cause dry eyes. Tabaco smoke also contributes to dry eyes as its smoke is an eye irritant.
Some medications can also cause dry eyes. Therefore, seek medical advice if you think your prescribed drugs are causing you to have dry eyes.
Treating Dry Eyes
- Place a Warm Wet Cloth on Your Eyes and Wash Your Eyelids with Baby Shampoo
Hold a warm wet cloth over your eyes for around five minutes, then wash your eyelids using baby shampoo. When washing your eyelids, try massaging them gently.
- Use Omega-3 Supplements
Add supplements and foods containing omega-3 fatty acids to your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help treat dry eyes, although further research is needed. However, make sure to consult a doctor before using any supplements.
- Try Drops or Ointments
Some nonprescription drops and ointments can help relieve your symptoms. You can get these over the counter from a pharmacy. It is advised to get medical advice before using any drops or ointments.
- Get Plenty of Sleep
Lack of sleep causes your eyes to not get enough rest, which can result in dry eyes. So, ensure that you get plenty of sleep.
- See a Doctor
Visit a doctor if home remedies are not relieving your symptoms. If you are experiencing any other symptoms alongside dry eyes, then get medical help immediately. Do not stop taking your prescribed medication without getting medical advice first, even if you think they are causing dry eyes.
How to Prevent Dry Eyes?
Environmental factors or lifestyle choices might cause dry eyes. Following are some ways you can prevent it:
- Quit Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
The smoke from tobacco is a known irritant that may make your eyes dry. Alcohol consumed even in a small amount can also cause dry eyes. So, quit both smoking and consuming alcohol as they might be causing you to have dry eyes.
- Avoid Environments That Cause Dry Eyes
Avoid environments that are too airy or dry and limit your exposure to fans and hairdryers. When going out on a windy day, wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from the air. Humidifiers can keep the air moist, so you can turn on a humidifier when needed.
Try to stay away from a heated or air-conditioned environment. A dusty environment can also cause dry eyes and eye irritation, so avoid such environments.
- Reduce Screen Time
Reduce your screen time as much as reasonably possible. If you need to sit in front of a screen for hours, then take frequent breaks. These breaks will allow your eyes to retain moisture.
- Use Glasses or Soft Contact Lenses
Soft contact lenses can be much more comfortable than hard ones for people who experience dry eyes as soft contact lenses stay moist. Get medical advice before switching contact lenses. Using glasses instead of contact lenses is a much easier and comfortable fix than switching them.
There can be several reasons behind dry eyes, but a proper checkup and some precautions can always keep your eyes healthy and safe.