Lifestyle Tips to Alleviate Dry Eye Symptoms
- The amount of times you blink, as well as the strength of your blink, decreases with sustained activities such as computer use. Therefore, the 20/20/20 rule is a helpful tool:
- For every 20 minutes at the computer, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds
- Squeezing the eyes closed for a few seconds during this activity may also help to release the oil from the glands in your eyelids. This thicker oil layer is beneficial because it prevents the tears from evaporating too quickly.
- Dry, windy conditions will worsen your dry eye symptoms.
- Using a humidifier in an area where sustained activities are performed can provide needed moisture to the tear film.
- Avoid using fans when sleeping or performing sustained tasks. Also, adjust any vents that may be pointed in your direction.
- When in the car, make sure the vent is pointed towards your body and not your face. Wearing sunglasses in the car can help with A/C exposure. Be aware that lowering the windows might make dry eye symptoms worse.
- When at the computer, make sure you are not looking up at the screen. This will cause your eyes to be more open than if you are looking down, and this will dry your eyes out faster due to the excessive exposure.
- Contact lens wearers may experience increased dry eye symptoms due to disruption of the tear film from many different factors.
- Make sure you always replace your lenses on time. Debris and allergens collected on the lenses can irritate the eyes and increase inflammation (a key component in dry eye).
- If using solution to clean your lenses (as opposed to wearing daily disposable lenses), the solution itself can irritate the eyes. If your lenses are progressively more uncomfortable as the days go on, you may be sensitive to a preservative in your solution. Using a preservative-free product (like ClearCare or PeroxiClear) may be beneficial for certain patients. (NOTE: These solutions contain hydrogen peroxide and do not work the same way as multipurpose solutions. Read the instructions carefully).
- Stay hydrated. Dehydration can cause your tear film to be thinner.
- Stay away from cigarette smoke.
- Sunglasses can shield your eyes from windy conditions, especially when outside for long periods of time. Wrap-around sunglasses provide the most protection.
If these lifestyle changes do not improve your symptoms, there is hope! Call us for an appointment and we will work hard to stop you from thinking about your eyes and start living your best life!
How to properly clean your eye lids
- OCuSoft Lid Scrubs - Wrap wipe around finger and apply to eyelid margin. Firmly use side-to-side motions without irritation eyelids. It is important to get at the base of eyelashes.
- OCuSoft Hypochlor Eyelid Spray - Using a 100% cotton pad, spray solution onto pad until moistened. For upper eyelids, close eyes and apply to eyelid margin using firm side-to-side motions. For lower lids, pull eyelid down, look up and repeat.
Top products to alleviate dry eyes
Preservative-Free Artificial Tear Drops (Single Vials) & Lid Scrubs
Night Time Gels
Apply pea-sized amount onto clean finger. Insert into lower lids before bedtime. Preservative-Free Artificial Tear Drops (Single Vials).
Silicone Sleep Mask
May find online. Silicone mask is preferred instead of cloth mask (cloth absorbs moisture while silicone maintains moisture).
Warm Mask (Eye Mask)
Use warm compresses (as directed on package) for ten minutes at a time. Moist heat masks penetrate the eyelids better. If the mask does not provide moist heat, a damp washcloth can be applied onto the eyelids first.