Dry eyes is a condition that occurs when tears are not able to provide enough lubrication to the eyes. If the eyes produce poor quality of tears or do not produce enough tears, it leads to a dry eye condition. The eyes may feel uncomfortable because they burn and sting. Here are some signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Redness in eyes
- Light sensitivity
- A burning, stinging, and scratchy feeling in the eyes
- Difficulty wearing lenses
- Difficulty driving at night
- Blurred vision
- Strained eyes
- Watery and irritable eyes
- Fatigued eyes
- Itching and excessive dryness
- Mucus around or in the eyes
- Difficulty keeping the eyes open
- Sensitivity to wind or smoke
- Sticky eyelids
- Eye pain
Here are some ways in which you can manage symptoms of dry eyes:
- Wear protective eyewear
Protective eyewear and safety shields can be fixed to the sides and tops of eyeglasses to prevent the eyes from drying up due to air and wind.
- Avoid direct air
Air that blows directly from car heaters, hairdryers, fans, or air conditioners into the eyes should be avoided, as it makes them dry and irritable.
- Use a humidifier
Using a humidifier can keep the air moist and protect the eyes from getting dry during wintertime.
- Give them rest
Take periodic breaks if you’re using too much screen or doing a task that requires concentration. Closing your eyes and taking frequent breaks helps retain moisture in the eyes and prevents them from drying up.
Blinking eyes repeatedly replenishes the tear film and prevents the eyes from going dry.
- Know your environment
The air is extremely dry at higher altitudes or desert areas and in airplanes. Closing your eyes for some time when you’re traveling in such an environment can be helpful.
- Place the screen below eye level
Positioning your computer screen below your eye level means that you will not have to open your eyes too wide. This, in turn, helps in retaining moisture.
- Quit smoking
Cigarette smoke can result in the eyes feeling dry and irritated. Avoid being in contact with it as it worsens dry eye symptoms.
Drink plenty of water and avoid getting dehydrated. It is advisable to drink eight to ten glasses of water every day. This is useful in keeping the eyes moist.
According to a few studies, including omega-3 and omega-6 supplements in your diet can be beneficial. Flax seeds, soybean, and walnuts are good sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can prevent/improve the condition.