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Dry Eyes

Eyes can often feel dry, gritty, and irritated. It feels like somethings in your eyes. Scratchy and sometimes painful sensations can arise when your dry eyes are crying for HELP!

DEHYDRATION = DRY BODY + DRY EYES

Do your eyes feel as dry as your skin? This picture resembles the appearance of an alligator’s skin; cracked and spotty from dehydration. If you are noticing that your body is generally very dry, then its highly likely that your eyes are just as dry. Ask yourself how many times a day you use lotion for your hands and chapstick for your lips. If the answer is ‘MANY TIMES A DAY,” then you should also ask yourselves how many times a day you use lubricant eyedrops for your eyes. The answer to that question, sadly, may be ‘NEVER.’ Dry eye treatment is very commonly overlooked. Start drinking more water, lubricate the eyes heavily, and reduce dry eye accelerators such as caffeine, alcohol, and fans. See an optometrist for a complete DRY EYE CONSULTATION to receive a personalized treatment plan.

READING/ COMPUTER WORK

Dry eyes arise from doing excessive amounts of near work for an extended amount of time without a break. When your eyes focus on near objects for a long time the blink rate reduces greatly. Your tears dehydrate much quicker with your eyes being open longer. This causes severe dryness and sometimes even sharp pain. An optometrist can explain how to relax your eyes more often to alleviate eye strain and dry eyes.

CLIMATE/ WEATHER/ ENVIRONMENT

Summer desert heat, cold winters, and air conditioned offices all provide an optimally DRY environment. Due to the fact that the eyes are externally exposed to the environment, it presents many challenges. Temperature and humidity changes can affect the moisture content of your eyes as the tears evaporate. Air conditioners remove moisture from the air and therefore cause airplanes and office settings to have very dry air.

MEDICATIONS

Many strong prescription medications cause dry eyes. As the liver and kidneys are working extra hard to filter the medication from the blood, they consume a lot of the body’s water content. The body dries up and the eyes become very, very dry. The biggest culprit to dry eyes is oral allergy medications such as Claritin/ Reactin/ Aerius. These oral medications work by sucking all the moisture from the mucous glands to reduce unwanted phlem. The downside is the dryness that remains for the eyes.

SLEEP

Lack of sleep causes the eyes to become inflammed, red, and dry. The eyes get overworked and require rest as well.

Some individuals sleep with their eyes open at night. Have a friend or spouse monitor you one day to see if your eyes remain slightly open as you sleep. This can cause severe dryness overnight. As the individual awakens in the morning, they are barely able to open their eyes. The eyes feel heavy, tired, and dry. A quick solution would be to wear a night mask over your eyes as you sleep.

Obese individuals or people who suffer from sleep-apnea have very lax and stretchy eyelids. These eyelids are more prone to opening at night from mild friction from the pillow. They may also benefit from wearing a nightly mask to cover their eyes.

Eliminate dry eyes! Speak to an optometrist to receive your personalized dry eye treament plan.