My Eyes Are Really Dry. What Do I Do?
Dry Eyes Daily Challenges
Having dry eyes can be quite a pain. The condition is debilitating in that it can interfere significantly with everyday life and force a person one to remain indoors in order to prevent exposure to dust and wind.
Dry eye syndrome is on the rise worldwide because people are spending more and more time in air-conditioned rooms and in front of computer and mobile phones
Over half of all contact lens wearers develop dry eyes, as well.
Consult Your Doctor
If you have severe symptoms, consult your optometrist or ophthalmologist. The advice provided here is no substitute for professional medical evaluation.
Possible Complications of Dry Eyes
Dry eye syndrome can result in the formation of corneal abrasions that lead to reduced visual acuity. It also places the sufferer at an increased risk of eye Infections that are capable of causing significant loss of vision.
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
The causes of dry eye syndrome could be any one or more of the following:
- Extended contact lens wear
- Inadequate sleep
- Excessive drinking
- Spending too much time in front of the computer
- Being around dusty places
- Laser surgery
- General low humidity in the air
- Degenerative conditions
- Meibomian Gland Dysfunction
Degrees of Dry Eyes
Dry Eye Syndrome in a person can be of 3 degrees based on severity. A person could either have mild, moderate or severe dry eyes. The difference is based on the amount of discomfort experienced and the effect on regular lifestyle. A person with mild dry eyes probably won't find the condition too much of a challenge whereas someone with severe dry eyes will find it hard to even keep his/her eyes open.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
A dry and scratchy feeling in the eyes is the most common symptom of dry eye syndrome. It is especially pronounced after a night of inadequate sleep and during exposure to dry air.
Some people may feel a foreign body sensation in their eyes.
Keeping the eyes open is found to be difficult for people with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome.
Other symptoms include redness of the eyes and frequent eye watering.
Effective Home Remedies for Dry Eyes
Based on my personal experience with moderate dry eyes, I have found a number of home remedies that ease the intensity of my condition.
1. Warm Eye Compress
Fill a bowl with warm water. Dip some cotton in it and gently massage your eyelids and eyelashes. Hold the cotton stationary over each eyelid for at least a few seconds before dipping it again in the warm water. Perform the compress for at least 10 minutes, twice a day. After performing the compress, gently massage your upper and lower eyelids with your pointing finger.
You will find this exercise to be extremely useful in keeping your dry eyes under check.
2. Lubricating Eye Drops
Also called 'rewetting solutions', lubricating eye drops like 'Refresh Tears' are available over the counter at medical stores and do not require a doctor's prescription. They mimic the action of the eye's natural tears and help keep the eyes moist and lubricated. They can be administered even when wearing contact lenses. They are to be administered every once in two hours, or more frequently if required.
3. Wear Sunglasses Outdoors
Use sunglasses when you are outdoors, especially if you live in a dusty place. Dry and dusty weather worsens the dry eye condition, so it is important to protect your eyes.
4. Avoid Air Conditioning and Fans
Being in front of a fan or an air conditioner will worsen your dry eye condition. As much as possible, do not sit in front of the direct blast of an air conditioner or table fan.
5. Reduce Screen Time
Staring into a computer or mobile screen for hours together reduces the number of times one blinks. Over the long term, this contributes to the worsening of the dry eye syndrome. Keep computer usage to the bare minimum required. If you must use a computer for long hours everyday, blink frequently. Take breaks every hour to slosh some water on your face and stare into the distance.
6. Reduce Contact Lens Usage
Over 50% of all contact lens wearers worldwide develop dry eye syndrome. This is because the contact lenses place an extra demand on the tear ducts of the eyes for moisture. Remove your contact lenses as soon as your back from work, and avoid wearing your contact lenses when you sleep.
7. Eat Cod Liver Oil Capsules
Cod liver oil stimulates tear production. Eating 3 capsules of cod liver oil a day is effective in reducing the effects of dry eyes and also contributes to long-term eye health.
Often, and especially when on the computer, we forget to blink. Blinking helps keep the eyes moist and lubricated. Dry eye symptoms are exacerbated by not blinking. Consciously blink every few seconds. It will make a difference to your condition, even if a small one.
Did you find the remedies on this page useful?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.