Have you noticed feelings of dryness, itchiness and grittiness in your eyes recently? Are they unusually red and sore? You could be suffering from dry eye syndrome; a common yet very uncomfortable condition that occurs when the eyes are lacking in moisture. This is often because the tear flow system has been affected. Your eyes may not be producing enough tears, or your tears are evaporating too quickly.
Unsurprisingly, the cold, dry conditions of the winter months can worsen these symptoms. Spending long periods of time indoors with the heating on full blast doesn’t help either – nor does the frequent use of electronics such as tablets and computers, which focus the mind so strongly that we forget to blink whilst using them. All these things can wreak havoc on how our eyes stay moisturised.
At Eyesite we’re specialists in treating a range of eye conditions, and know full well just how troubling dry eyes can be. If you’re experiencing symptoms, try the following tried and recommend ways to treat dry eyes:
Just like our skin becomes dry in the cold, blustery winter weather, so too can our eyes. This is why it’s important to protect them as much as possible. Wearing sunglasses during winter is a growing trend, not only for fashion and style reasons, but because it’s a great way to shield the eyes from the drying effects of the wind. Check out our latest blog on the Top 6 Sunglasses to Wear This Winter for inspiration.
Get Your Omega-3
Not all fats are bad for our health because studies show that omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce the risk of developing dry eyes. These fatty acids are an essential part of a healthy diet, as the body can’t produce them naturally and they have so many nutritious benefits – including healthier, more moisturised eyes. You can get omega-3 from flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, oily fish, walnuts and dark green leafy vegetables.
Moisturise With Eye Drops
For long lasting eye lubrication and comfort, eye drops are a great option. These can be purchased at your local pharmacy, over the counter or on prescription, and are often called ‘artificial tears’ as they replace the missing water from the tear film. You may have to try a number of different eye drops to find the solution that suits you. Don’t forget, you can always pop into one of our Eyesite practices if you need any advice.
If you wear make-up on a daily basis, you may find certain eye liners and eye shadows can dry your eyes and make them itchy if left on too long. Always make sure you remove your make-up at night to ensure you give your eyes some rest from the harsh ingredients found in make-up. This will make a big difference to your eye health and should help reduce dry eye symptoms.
If your work involves regular use of the computer, you may find you forget to blink, which is guaranteed to make your eyes feel dry. This is because concentrating on visual tasks can distract your mind, and as a result simple reflexes such as blinking can be side-lined. To get around this, aim to deliberately blink every so often – you could try pinning a note to your computer screen as a reminder!
If you’re concerned about your dry eyes and would like to speak to an expert, contact us today for confidential advice or to book an eye appointment.