As the weather turns colder, people frequently ask how to prevent dry eyes. Cold temperatures can cause your eyes to lose their natural moisture and become dry, leaving them sore and uncomfortable. Cool, brisk wind irritates eyes that are already prone to dryness. Dry eye happens when the eyes either cannot produce enough tears. It is a common condition wherein the eyes are unable to remain wet. This can cause the eyes to feel uncomfortable and may result in vision problems.
Dry eye can damage your cornea and other eye tissues because they lack the moisture they need to stay healthy. Our eyes rely on the moisture naturally in the air to help them stay hydrated, so dry eye symptoms typically worsen at this time of year.
Meanwhile, dry air is also a fixture indoors over the winter months as people crank up the heating in their homes, further evaporating any moisture in the air. The use of dehumidifiers to dry washing indoors when it’s chilly outside only contributes to this problem.
In dry eye syndrome, the parts of your eyes can harden, become inflamed, irritated, and cause your vision problems. In addition to these symptoms, dry eyes can cause inflammation and (sometimes permanent) damage to the surface of the eye. Dry eye syndrome also can affect the outcomes of LASIK and cataract surgery.
How to fight dry eyes
According to Sheetal Kishanpuria, senior consultant, Sharp Sight Eye Hospitals, there are lots of things one can all follow on daily basis which probably contribute to dry eyes.
Drinking more water and less coffee and alcohol can help you keep your eyes hyderated. Smoking has a similar effect, so cutting out cigarettes will also help.
Eye Health and Good Diet
Maintaining your overall eye health is also a good method of keeping dry eyes at bay. Foods rich in omega-3 contribute to good eye health, in turn stimulating tear production. This also goes for foods rich in vitamins A, C and E, such as leafy greens and citrus fruits. Dry eyes can occur because not enough tears are being produced, or because the make-up of the tears isn’t balanced properly, meaning they evaporate too quickly.
Changing your diet can help with this, as well as lifestyle changes like sleeping more and reducing your screen time.
Digital screens are known to dry your eyes out for a number of reasons, one being that they generally result in less blinking. To combat this, experts encourage you to employ the 20/20/20 rule – “every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds”. This gives your eyes a break and means you’ll blink more, lubricating your eyes.
Dry Eye: Treatment
For most people with occasional or mild dry eye symptoms, it's enough to regularly use over-the-counter eye drops (artificial tears). If your symptoms are persistent and more serious, you have other options. Instead of OTC artificial tears (or in addition to them), your eye doctor might recommend daily use of a prescription eye drop called immunomodulators (like restasis) for your dry eye treatment.
Meanwhile, over the past several years, inflammation has been recognised as a significant cause of dry eyes. Inflammation frequently causes redness and burning associated with dry eye disease.
Artificial tears usually do not adequately address these inflammatory changes, and doctors may recommend steroid eye drops to better manage the underlying inflammation associated with dry eyes.
Doctor suggests, for Dry Eye Syndrome, one should always consult Eye Specialist and not self medicate.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV)