From simple remedies you can try yourself to surgical procedures designed to keep your tears from escaping, there are lots of things you can do about dry eyes syndrome.
If you have dry eyes, you know it. The dryness, scratchiness and burning you feel just won’t go away. You may even feel like something is in your eye that you can’t get out. Perhaps you rub your eye so much that your eyelids have become flaky and cracked.
For some people, there’s even the ultimate irony: runny, watery eyes. Sometimes, your eyes are so dry that your tear ducts try to overcompensate with additional tears, but even that defense mechanism doesn’t seem to help.
Whether your dry eye syndrome is caused by heredity, medication or too much time at the computer screen, there are things that can be done to reduce your symptoms. My symptoms were caused by all three — although mostly working at the computer. Still, I’ve been able to manage the problem.
Relieving Dry Eye Syndrome Symptoms
You may not be able to cure your dry eyes symptoms, but you can manage them. With some attention to your eye health, you can feel better and get back the productivity that dry eyes threatens to take away from you.
Before mentioning anything else, I can’t overstress the importance of seeing an eye doctor. When I finally visited an optometrist, my computer vision syndrome and dry eyes symptoms had gotten so bad I could only work at the computer a couple of minutes before the symptoms became overwhelming. The doctor suggested low power reading glasses, over-the-counter lubricating drops and more frequent breaks, and these things very literally changed my life.
Whether you take my advice and see an eye doctor or not, here are eight things that people have found effective in dealing with dry eyes:
1. Try artificial tears or lubricating eye drops. For me, Blink Tears Eye Drops for mild to moderate dry eyes have proven to be the best choice. If your problem is mild, saline drops may be all you need. If it’s severe, you may need gel drops.
2. Stay out of the wind. When you’re outside, you may benefit from wearing glasses or sunglasses to keep wind and debris out of your eyes. Inside, wind from fans and air vents can be just as much of a problem. When you’re at your desk, consider using computer glasses or low power reading glasses to protect your eyes.
3. Use an air purifier. Air cleaners and air purifiers filter dust from the air in the rooms where you use your eyes most, like your office or where you watch television.
4. Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air. When the air in a room is moist, eyes don’t dry as quickly.
5. Deal with eyelid issues that could be caused by your dry eyes or could aggravate your dry eye syndrome symptoms. If your eyelids are swollen, cracked or feel scratchy, you could have blepharitis. Treating this condition will dramatically improve your eye health and the feel of your eyes.
6. Consider the role medications play in your dry eyes. Antihistamines remove moisture from your system, but they also help treat allergy symptoms that sometimes accompany dry eyes.
7. Avoid dehydration. Stay hydrated by drinking more water than you think you need, and you may find your eye symptoms decrease.
8. Turn to surgical treatments if you must. When dye eyes syndrome symptoms get so severe that they’re significantly impacting your life, it may be time for one of the surgical procedures that close or plug your tear ducts to keep available tears from draining away. If tear production is too low, however, this procedure won’t help.
Management, Not Cure
In many cases, there’s no cure for dry eye syndrome. But fortunately, there are many things you can do to manage your symptoms. Start with drops and computer glasses or other protective eyewear. From there, consider other factors that could be contributing to your eye problems. Finally, take more dramatic action if absolutely necessary.
Working with an eye doctor, you can find a cure for your dry eye symptoms and get on with your life.