If you regularly experience itchy or stinging eyes (sometimes accompanied by light sensitivity or blurry vision), you may have a condition known as chronic dry eye. This condition occurs when your eyes do not receive adequate lubrication. To help prevent any unnecessary discomfort, the ophthalmology team at Atlanta Vision Cataract and Laser Center offer some simple tips that could help you to relieve your dry eye symptoms:
Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is good for your entire body, including the eyes. When you drink plenty of water, your eyes will become moister. You have probably heard that you should drink eight glasses per day, but if you have dry eyes, make a conscious effort to drink more than that, even if you do not feel thirsty.
Take Screen Breaks
When you stare at a computer or television screen, your eyes naturally blink less than they would otherwise. To keep your eyes from drying out, we recommend that you take frequent breaks to either close your eyes or take a prolonged look at a blank wall. Repeat this screen break approximately every 20 minutes.
Another screen tip is to position the screen lower than your line of sight. By looking downward, your eyes will not need to be as wide open to look at the screen and will be less inclined to dry out further.
Consume Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research has found that eating foods rich in healthy fats like the omega-3 fatty acids found in tuna, sardines, salmon and cod helps to stimulate the eye glands, which can counteract dry eye. If fish is not your favorite food, try walnuts, flaxseed or over-the-counter supplements for a punch of omega-3 instead.
Use a Humidifier
Adding moisture to the air inside your home is a small step, but it can help to reduce the dryness your eyes are experiencing. Using distilled water in your humidifier is preferable, as it prevents the addition of minerals to the air.
More Serious Treatments
While the previous tips may be sufficient to manage your dry eye, you — like many other patients — may find that you need something more substantial than home remedies to overcome chronic dry eye. You may be a good candidate for dry eye plugs, which effectively prevent your tears from draining at a fast pace, or prescription eye drops like Xiidra or RESTASIS which can block the proteins in your eye that cause an imbalance in tear production.
To discuss all of your dry eye treatment options with Dr. Leonard Achiron or Dr. David O’Day, please schedule an appointment at (404) 765-2020.