Dry eye commonly affects many people worldwide. The eyes become dry when they cannot produce adequate or quality tears to remain moist and lubricated. The symptoms include itching, burning, stinging, light sensitivity, blurred vision, and redness.
Over-the-counter medications, like artificial tears, are often the first line of treatment used for dry eye. But if your dry eye symptoms persist, there are various steps you can take to relieve dry eye symptoms.
Visit an eye doctor for help if over-the-counter medications are not relieving your dry eye symptoms. They will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine the cause of the dry eye and then will recommend a treatment plan for your condition.
Dry eye can occur due to different underlying conditions. These could be meibomian gland dysfunction, autoimmune diseases, and blepharitis. Your eye doctor can help diagnose these conditions and create a personalized treatment plan.
Your eye doctor can recommend prescription medications to relieve your dry eye symptoms. You can start using prescription eye drops to reduce inflammation and increase tear production. They can take several weeks to work, so you may have to use them long-term to maintain their effectiveness.
Your dry eye symptoms can worsen when exposed to dry air. It often happens during winter when everyone uses indoor heating systems for warmth in their homes and offices. A humidifier adds moisture to the dry indoor air to relieve dry eye symptoms.
Clean your humidifier regularly to stop the development of mold and bacteria. Doing so will ensure you protect your eye health from worsening due to complications such as eye infections.
You can relieve meibomian gland dysfunction symptoms through a noninvasive procedure called LipiFlow®. The treatment process entails placing a device on your eyelids that uses massage and heat to unclog the meibomian glands.
These glands are responsible for producing the oily layer in your tear film. LipiFlow effectively relieves dry eye symptoms, according to clinical studies.
Blepharitis can contribute to dry eye symptoms. The condition causes inflammation of the eyelids. You can help reduce this inflammation and relieve dry eye symptoms by practicing good eyelid hygiene. You can do so by using warm compresses, avoiding eye makeup, and using gentle eyelid scrubs. You should also avoid wearing contact lenses during flare-ups.
Various environmental factors can worsen dry eye symptoms. These triggers may include air pollution, dust, smoke, and wind. Take the necessary steps to protect your eyes and avoid these triggers. For example, you can wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from dust and wind.
You can help reduce inflammation in your body, including your eyes, by taking essential nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. These supplements help relieve dry eye symptoms. Talk to your doctor before you start taking any supplements. They can tell you what to do because some supplements can interact with other medications you may be taking.
For more about relieving dry eye symptoms, contact Dr. Richard E. Hults & Associates at our offices in Canton, Akron, Fairview Park, or Elyria, Ohio. Call (330) 252-7616, (330) 252-7457, (440) 755-2857, or (440) 687-6055, respectively, to book an appointment today.