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7 Tips to Prevent Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye is a condition that occurs when the eyes fail to produce adequate tears to provide lubrication. Tears help nourish the eyes, keeping them healthy. Millions of people suffer from dry eyes. The condition can be uncomfortable and sometimes painful. Common symptoms include a burning sensation, a feeling of something in the eye, grittiness, redness, blurry vision, and pain. Fortunately, there are things you can do to prevent dry eye symptoms. 

Use Artificial Tears

Artificial tears or eye drops are available over the counter and can help keep the eyes lubricated. You can use the drops as often as necessary. If you need to use eye drops more than five times a day, choose preservative-free options. You can find lubricating gels, but with their thickness and tendency to blur vision, they should be used at bedtime. 

Rest and Blink Regularly

If you spend time on the computer, you may experience eyestrain and dryness. Resting your eyes and blinking regularly will help prevent the symptoms. Most people take blinking for granted, but it is vital for moisturizing and protecting the eyes. It helps renew and spread the tear film over the eye surface. 

Washing Your Eyelids 

If you are prone to eye dryness, caring for your eyelids will help improve tear quality. Washing your eyes carefully daily can help ease irritation and relieve the symptoms. Use baby shampoo or mild soap to wash the eyelids and areas around the eyes. Gently massage the closed eyes while cleaning, then use cool or warm water to rinse off. 

A Warm Compress 

Placing a warm compress over the eyes can help boost oil production in the eyelid glands. It will help improve tear quality and prevent dry eye symptoms. Apply the compress after washing your eyelids. Make sure the cloth is not too hot but warm enough to provide therapeutic benefits. You can use a washcloth or a commercially available eye compress. 

Protective Eyewear

Wearing eye protection can help prevent dry eye symptoms. Sunglasses help protect the eyes from UV rays, wind, and debris. Wraparound sunglasses are especially useful in a windy environment. They help prevent wind from blowing into the eyes and drying them. You should also limit exposure to hair dryers and fans.  

A Healthy Diet

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent eye dryness. Fish, fish oil, fruits, and nuts can help keep the eyes healthy. Healthy whole foods improve the eye’s oil film. Essential fatty acids can also provide anti-inflammatory benefits, preventing dry eyes. You can talk to a nutritionist about foods that are best for eye health. 

Use a Humidifier 

A humidifier and filter can help keep the indoor air clean and moist. Smoke and dry air can increase tear evaporation, exacerbating symptoms of dry eye. Having a humidifier during dry winter months will keep your eyes more comfortable. Using an air filter and adjusting indoor temperatures help improve eye comfort. 

Other things you can do to prevent dry eye symptoms include getting more sleep and avoiding cigarette smoke. If you experience dry eye symptoms, visit an ophthalmologist to find treatment options. 

For more information on dry eye, call Advanced Eyecare Consultants at our Illinois offices in Libertyville 847-994-4500 or Lake Zurich 847-438-7700.

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