Itching, burning, sensitivity to light, blurry vision, redness — these common symptoms of dry eyes have a way of making your life miserable. If you’re among the nearly 16 million people in the United States who have dry eyes, the good news is that there are effective treatments and lifestyle tweaks that can vastly improve the comfort of your eyes.
At Vision and Ortho-K, Dr. Curtis Frank specializes in dry eyes, and he understands the frustration and discomfort that comes with the condition.
To help you find relief from dry eyes, we recommend the following four tips.
1. Get help
Your first, and most important, step is to come see us for an evaluation. There are many roads to dry eyes, and it’s paramount that we figure out what’s causing the imbalance in your tears.
For example, if you’re simply not producing enough tears, we can prescribe eye drops that act as artificial tears or that help your eyes to produce more tears. Or, if your tears are draining too quickly, we can turn to punctal occlusion, which is placing plugs in your drainage ducts to keep the liquid in your eyes.
By properly identifying the underlying problem, we can ensure that you have the right treatment.
2. Boost your omega-3s
An all-natural aid for dry eyes is boosting your omega-3 intake. These fats help to fight inflammation in your body and encourage production of higher quality tears.
You can find omega-3 supplements in most grocery stores and pharmacies. If you’d prefer to get them from your diet, omega-3-rich foods include:
- Fatty fishes, such as salmon
- Nuts, especially walnuts
- Omega-3-enriched eggs
- Flaxseeds and chia seeds
No matter where you get your omega-3s, the fats should help improve your dry eyes.
3. Mind your environment
When you have dry eyes, it’s important to pay close attention to your environment and minimize irritants. First and foremost, avoid being around smoke. You should also steer clear of blowing air, whether it’s the wind outside or a blow dryer.
In the winter, the air can get very dry inside your home, which can exacerbate your dry eyes. To combat this, we suggest that you get a humidifier to add moisture to the air around you.
4. Use warm compresses
Well-balanced tears contain water for hydration, mucus for spreading the tear, and oil for keeping the tear on your eye. To encourage the last item on the list – oil – it helps to apply warm compresses to your eyes regularly so that your oil glands flow freely.
With some targeted treatments and some at-home remedies, you should be able to find significant relief from your dry eyes.
To get started on treatment for your dry eyes, schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Boston or Newton Upper Falls, Massachusetts.