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7 Tips for Dry Eye
Dry eye is the most common thing that eye doctors see on a daily basis. Nearly 30 million Americans experience dry eye symptoms. These symptoms vary from patient to patient. Some patients complain a gritty feeling. Others have red, watery eyes. Still others will experience fluctuating vision throughout the day. As a result, one needs to treat each person’s signs and symptoms of dry eye on an individual basis. Therefore, a thorough evaluation with your eye doctor is important to determine the best treatment regimen to improve one’s symptoms. The following 7 tips are things that those who suffer from dry eye can do on their own to minimize their symptoms.
Whether you are engrossed in a good book or working on your computer, when we are focusing on near tasks our blink rate decreases significantly. Typically, we blink about 15-20 times per minute. When looking at a computer screen, our blink rate is reduced to 6-7 times per minute. Simply consciously blinking our eyes allowthe redistribution of the tear film over the surface of our eyes, improving dry eye symptoms.
When working on the computer or during times of extended reading, simply take a 20 second break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away. This is a simple trick to alleviate eye strain.
Wearing sunglasses when outside benefits your eyes in 2 ways. First, the obvious benefit of protecting the eyes from UV rays. Secondly, it provides protection from the wind, which will cause your eyes to dry out.
Smokers are twice as likely to have dry eye compared to those who do not smoke. Cigarette smoke contains several hundred chemicals. These chemicals cause a breakdown in the normal composition of the tear film.
Don’t use a Ceiling Fan
Many enjoy going to bed with the hum of a ceiling fan lulling them to sleep. Some like the cooling of the room that it provides. This circulating air while sleeping only exasperates dry eye symptoms. It would be better to use a noise machine or set your thermostat a bit lower to obtain the hum or the cooler room.
Humidifier in Bedroom
During the winter months, the humidity within our homes drops to very low levels. Even with a humidifier attached to your furnace, you are likely not getting to the humidity level found during the rest of the year. A simple aid during the winter is to place a portable humidifier on your nightstand when you sleep. This allows for a more humid environment around your eyes for the 6-9 hours you sleep each evening.
Good Make-up Practices
Always make sure your face and eyelids are clean prior to applying make-up. When you apply make-up, keep it outside the lash line. This avoids blocking the oil glands that line the lids between the lashes and the eye. Avoid the use of waterproof mascara. At the end of the day, make sure to remove all make-up prior to going to bed.