6 Tips for Battling Dry Eye

Every time you blink you’re nourishing and protecting your eyes by spreading a mixture of water, mucus, and oil over the surface area, the three ingredients of your tears. This trifecta provides much-needed lubrication, wards off infection, and helps clear away any foreign matter that gets into your eyes.

If you have dry eye, however, your eyes lose this valuable protection and nourishment, leaving them dry, gritty, and vulnerable to bacteria. Here at our practice, David R. Frazee, OD, many of our patients struggle with dry eye, especially in the dry climate here in Richardson, Texas. If this sounds like you, here are 6 great tips with which to arm yourself in the battle against dry eye:

1. Hydrate from the inside out

The health benefits of drinking enough water cannot be understated, and it holds especially true if you have dry eye. By hydrating your body from the inside out, you can enhance both the quality and quantity of your tears.

To help seal in the benefits of your hydration efforts, consider tackling the problem from the outside, too, with a humidifier. Humidifiers are extremely affordable, so plug one in wherever you spend the most amount of time — your bedroom, your living room, your office. By ensuring that the air around you is filled with moisture, your eyes won’t dry out as quickly.

2. Something fishy

Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in abundance in fish, can improve the oil in your tears. Whether you turn to a fish oil supplement, or go straight to the source and add more fish to your diet, increased omega-3 fatty acids may help alleviate the symptoms of your dry eye.

3. Screen time

If you spend a lot of time in front of a screen, whether a computer monitor, your phone, or an old-fashioned TV, it may surprise you to know that you’re probably blinking less. Next time you find yourself staring at a screen, try and keep this in mind and force yourself to look away and blink several times to replenish your eyes. A great trick is to use the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. In fact, why not recruit your enemy as an ally by setting a timer on your phone to go off every 20 minutes?

4. Added protection

Your eyelids do a great job protecting your eyes, but they can use a little help when you’re outside, especially if you have dry eye. Be sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes against harmful UV rays and any debris that may be floating in the air. If it’s not sunny out, there are still a considerable number of irritants in the air, so wear your regular glasses if you have them, or adopt a daytime movie star look with your sunglasses.

5. Keep it clean

If you have dry eye, it’s important that you give your eyes a break when it comes to cleanup duty. We’ve already mentioned glasses, but you should also be sure to remove all of your eye makeup each night. Old makeup can flake off, especially if you rub your eyes, and force your beleaguered eyes to deal with the debris.

6. We can help

Because so many of our patients have dry eye, we have a clinic at our practice that’s devoted to the condition. This clinic is equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment that measures your tear production and may even be able to catch the onset of dry eye before it becomes a full-blown problem. Dry eye is often preceded by inflammation and we’re equipped to test your inflammatory markers.

In addition to our complete array of diagnostic tools, we also offer innovative treatments for dry eye, such as the MiBo Thermoflo®. This machine delivers continuous and controlled heat to your eyelid to open up your meibomian glands, which secretes the oil.

If you’re struggling with persistent dry eye, call David R. Frazee, OD, to see how we can help.  Or, schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.

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