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5 Ways You May Be Accidentally Making Your Dry Eye Worse

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Most cases of dry eye syndrome are at least partially due to meibomian gland dysfunction, a condition that prevents the production of high-quality tears. Nevertheless, environmental and lifestyle factors can certainly exacerbate the symptoms to make the discomfort and irritation you experience more unbearable. Below, the eye doctors at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute review some of the ways you may be unknowingly making your dry eye worse.

1. You Don’t Drink Enough Water

The health benefits of drinking water throughout the day are numerous. If you need another reason to consume at least eight glasses a day, consider your eyes. Without proper hydration, you may lack the water to produce enough tears to moisten your eyes.

2. You Don’t Give Yourself Breaks When Using Your Computer

In the modern age, many people’s jobs involve sitting at a computer for many hours a day. Unfortunately, when you stare at a screen, you blink much less frequently, which makes your eyes more prone to drying out. To improve your eye health without having to quit your job, be mindful of giving your eyes short breaks. For every 20 minutes you are looking at a screen, turn and look at a blank wall approximately 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. This is known as the 20-20-20 rule. Set alarms if it helps you to remember.

3. You Don’t Protect Your Eyes in the Wind

Wind can be cruel to your eyes. As the air blows across the surface of your eyes, it prematurely evaporates the tears that are needed to keep your eyes sufficiently lubricated. While you may only think about sunglasses when it is excessively sunny, they are also effective at protecting your eyes from other elements like the wind. Ski/snow goggles are even better if you anticipate being outdoors in windy conditions for multiple hours.

4. You Wear Contact Lenses

Oxygen is necessary to help your eyes produce tears. When you wear contact lenses, they can block the flow of oxygen to your eyes. This is even more likely to happen if you wear the wrong size lenses or fall asleep in your contacts. You may want to keep a spare pair of glasses handy so that you can skip contacts on days when your dry eye flares up. 

Seek Treatment in the Tampa Bay Area

While these tips can help you to relieve some irritation, most patients with chronic dry eye can benefit from intervention, which may include blocking the drainage canals so that tears stay on the eyes longer. To receive a diagnosis and customized treatment plan for your dry eye, please call (727) 585-2200 today.

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1030 W Bay Dr Suite 200
Largo, FL 33770