Symptoms such as excessive tearing, foreign body sensation, sandy/gritty feeling, and intermittent blurriness may mean that your eyes are dry.
Oral medications, reading, computer tasks and dry environments may aggravate marginally dry eyes. This condition can be diagnosed from review of your symptoms and by using dyes to observe tear patterns and evaluate the amount of tears on the front surface of the eye. Treatment may include artificial tear supplements, allergy eye drops, prescription drops for dryness, and/or punctal occlusion. Visionary Eye provides all of these treatment options at each of our locations.
Suggested Lifestyle Changes:
- Independent research shows that an increased intake of Omega-3 essential fatty acids from either supplementation and/or dietary intake help to quell inflammation in the eye and supports tear production. If taking a fish oil capsule we suggest that it has a combination of DHA+EPA that is >1000mg. Foods that are rich in Omega-3’s are cold water oily fish (ex. Sardines, Cod, Herring, Salmon or Tuna), chia seeds and certain nuts such as walnuts.
- Limit caffeine intake; we suggest you have at least 2 cups of water for every cup of caffeine (this includes coffee, soda and certain teas).
- Increase water consumption; it is suggested that to maintain a well hydrated body you should be drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day (about 48 oz. each day!).
- Avoid Smoking; Tobacco smoke is a known eye irritant and worsens dry eye, even among second-hand smokers. Recent research has shown that people who smoke are nearly twice as likely to have dry eyes.
- Environment; Research suggests that dry, windy or cold environments can be an exacerbating factor to dry eye. When outside in the wind or sun consider wearing glasses. While you’re in the car turn the heat/fan on lower vents only so the wind is not blowing in your face. In the colder months consider getting a humidifier to use at home to help with your dry eye symptoms.
Further Treatments: Should the above treatments not relieve your symptoms your doctor may recommend one of the following:
- Punctal Occlusion – During this procedure they will insert a small plug into your lacrimal/tear drainage ducts to delay drainage of tears from the eye. This procedure is fast and painless, like inserting an earring into an already pierced ear. The plugs are typically not felt after inserted and are not obvious when somebody looks at you.
- Restasis – This is a prescription medicated artificial tear drop that may help increase your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears and will help to reduce inflammation.