Dry eyes is something you hear many people complaining about. Especially if it’s winter and the surrounding weather is just too dry. The reason I bring this up is I want you to know you’re not alone if you’re feeling your eyes are too itchy or they feel gritty.
The reason your eyes get dry is when you cannot produce enough tears. Now, tears comprise water, mucous and fatty oils. All three elements work together to keep your eyes lubricated. The fatty acids allow for your tears to continue hydrating your eyes rather than evaporating.
Dry eyes can happen for several reasons:
- Hormonal changes can set off the production of oils, and mucous creating itchy dry eyes
- If you’re on decongestants.
- If you take antihistamines.
- If you’re on antidepressants.
- If you have allergies, arthritis, diabetes, etc.
- If you wear heavy make-up that clogs your pores and tear glands.
- If you work in dry environments.
- If you’ve had surgery in your eyes or if you wear contact lenses.
Let’s look at a few symptoms you may experience with dry eyes:
- Stinging or burning in your eyes.
- Gritty or sandy feeling in the eyes.
- Blurred vision.
- Sensitivity to light.
- The feeling of having something stuck in your eyes.
- White or whitish yellow discharge around your eyes.
- Pain in eyes.
- Eyes feel tired.
If you feel you are experiencing these symptoms and can’t remember how long you’ve had them, we highly recommend you visit your ophthalmologist to rule out any underlying conditions or syndromes.
There is a popular condition called Meibomian gland Disorder where the glands that produce oil in your eyes get dried up or get clogged. Either of these reasons would cause you to have the above symptoms.
When you visit your eye doctor, they can suggest ways to treat your eyes, and if need be, they can express the oils from your eyelids so you can start feeling better soon.
Let’s look at ways in which you can treat dry eyes at home
Two big causes for dry eyes are your environment and your daily habits. You need to focus on making “eye care” your priority. Here are a few ways you can begin taking the needed steps for improvement:
- Ensure you don’t allow car heaters or blowers etc to blow dry hot air directly to your face. We understand how good that feels, but you end up getting your tears evaporated for short-term comfort.
- If possible, wear wrap-around sunglasses to make your eyes feel better and protected from harsh sun rays.
- Ensure you follow the 20-20-20 rule when focusing on something like reading a book or watching television. The rule states: For every 20 mins of TV viewing, take a 20-sec break to look at an object placed 20 meters away. This will allow for your eyes to readjust their focus and your eye muscles can relieve pain from the stress created by focusing on one point for too long.
- Avoid smoke: cigarettes or fireplaces.
- Artificial tears to lubricate your eyes: they are going to be your short term best friend. Use one that has Sodium Hyaluronate after consulting with your eye doctor, as this compound mimics tears best.
- Try using your contact lenses for shorter durations.
- Add a humidifier to your room when the weather is too dry. This will not just help your eyes, but your skin and hair will thank you too.
- Nourish your body from within. Ensure your daily diet includes food that is high in omega-3 fatty acids like fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, fish oils, etc.
- Use an electric dry eye mask to allow for the oils in your eyes to be warm enough to be readily available in the tears. An electric heated dry eye mask, help treat your dry eyes. Especially if you have issues with styes or clogging up of your oil glands in your lower or upper lids, a heated eye mask can help with expressing the oils and mix with your tears.
We hope these tips help you feel better soon. Check out electric heated dry eye masks here.