Dry eye syndrome affects people in developed countries because of the prolonged use of digital devices for leisure or work. Dry eye can cause itching or a burning sensation and may impair vision. It may also cause difficulty sustaining visual concentration.
Clinicians often do their best to help you get a positive outcome. They conduct comprehensive eye exams and consider your history, predisposing factors, and lifestyle before administering conventional treatments. But, treatment methods may fail to cure your condition thoroughly.
You also have a proactive part to play toward enhancing your positive outcomes. With only a few lifestyle modifications, you can ease your symptoms.
Below are some lifestyle habits you can adjust to ease dry eye symptoms:
Most people can’t keep away from digital devices since they use them for education, employment, or entertainment. However, you can reduce the time you spend on your devices. Also, make adjustments to reduce blue light exposure to your eyes. For example, keep the viewing distance of 90 cm and tilt the screen downwards by 10 degrees. Eye doctors also recommend taking a 15-minute break away after 2 hours of device use. Also, make use of the 20-20-20 rule that lets your eyes rest and prevents eye strain.
There is a positive correlation between dry eye symptoms and sleep dysfunction. Patients with nocturnal lagophthalmos are more predisposed to dry eyes. They report symptoms like eye pain, difficulty opening their eyes, and foreign body sensations when they wake up in the morning. To avoid aggravating your symptoms, work to improve the quality of your sleep.
While you must follow your doctor’s advice on medication, taking too many systemic medications worsens dry eye symptoms. These drugs include antidepressants, antihistamines, antihypertensives, antipsychotics, and Parkinson’s disease medication. Often, dry eye symptoms go with the size of your dose. The higher your dose, the greater the irritation.
You can request a lower dosage, alternative medicines, or eliminate some medications. For example, the doctor could substitute an oral antihistamine medication with a topical one. This would eliminate the systemic side effects of the oral drug.
Environmental elements like humidity, air, and other weather conditions may affect the severity of your dry eye. While you cannot control your surroundings, you can enhance your environment to minimize your symptoms. For example, wear sunglasses to protect yourself from high-intensity sunlight. Also, reduce your use of ceiling fans and ensure your eyes aren’t exposed to air conditioning or heating vents. When in a low-humidity environment, use a humidifier to keep your eyes from drying faster.
Recent studies show a correlation between chronic dry eye and smoking. Smoking impairs the working of the meibomian glands and causes a decrease in the tear film. Consistent cigarette smoke exposure causes conjunctival epithelial damage and alters the corneal structure. It also decreases the density of goblet cells, which may deteriorate your condition. As such, it is prudent to quit smoking to improve ocular health.
A comprehensive eye exam will allow your eye doctor to provide more advice on how you can relieve your symptoms.
For more on lifestyle habits that affect dry eye symptoms, visit Advanced Eyecare Consultants at our offices in Libertyville and Lake Zurich, Illinois. Call (847) 994-4500 or (847) 438-7700 to book an appointment today.