If you regularly struggle with stinging, itchy eyes (which may or may not also include symptoms like blurry vision or light sensitivity), then you may have dry eye syndrome. Dry eye strikes when your eyes are not sufficiently lubricated. Not only is dry eye uncomfortable, but prolonged or chronic dry eye can leave your eyes vulnerable to even more serious conditions. Here, the eye doctors at St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute offer advice to help you to mitigate dry eye symptoms.
While drinking water should already be a part of your daily routine, it is all the more important that you do so if you have dry eye. Your eyes become moister when you drink more H2O. Be aware that you may need to drink past the point where your thirst is quenched to sufficiently moisten your eyes.
TURN OFF YOUR SCREENS
Anytime you stare at a phone, computer or TV screen, your eyes blink with less frequency than they would normally. Since blinking helps to prevent dry eye, you should try to take regular breaks (approximately every 20 minutes of screen time) to either keep your eyes closed for a while or stare at a non-digital object about 20 feet away for half a minute.
One additional tip is to ensure that your screen is below your general line of sight. When you look downward, your eyes do not need to open as widely to see. Eyes tend to get the driest when they’re completely open.
A diet with plenty of fish can be good for dry eye because high intake of omega-3 fatty acids (a healthy fat) stimulates the glands in your eyes. If you are not a fan of seafood, try flaxseed, walnuts or over-the-counter supplements with omega-3s instead.
HUMIDIFY YOUR HOME
Moisture in the air can also help to reduce dry eye. A humidifier can give your house additional moisture and perhaps alleviate some dry eye symptoms. Our doctors recommend using distilled water in your humidifier to avoid adding extra minerals into the air.
SEE AN EYE DOCTOR FOR MORE SERIOUS TREATMENTS
While these tips are useful to many of our patients, your dry eye may be too significant to be properly addressed with home remedies. Do not hesitate to visit St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute when you cannot manage to get your dry eye under control on your own. We can prescribe eyedrops or use punctal plugs (a device that blocks the eye’s drainage holes into the nasal passage) to help you maintain additional moisture in your eyes.
To schedule an appointment with the best eye team in Tampa Bay, please call (727) 585-2200 today.