Lifestyle Tips to Cope With Chronic Dry Eye

You probably know the feeling of rubbing your eyes after a long day out in the sun or hours spent in front of a computer. They feel itchy, dry, and irritated, and you may not want to open them. Typically after a night of good sleep, you wake up with refreshed, lubricated eyes. 

Chronic dry eyes is a condition that is more common in people who are 50 years or older. Almost 5 million Americans over 50 have dry eyes, and more women than men are affected. This condition can cause a lot of discomfort and distress. Luckily, a number of lifestyle changes can give you relief from chronic dry eye.

Although it may not seem all that serious, untreated dry eye can actually cause damage to your eyes. Friction and irritation can cause damage to your cornea, your eye’s clear protective layer. This damage can cause vision problems.

At Paragon Eye Associates in Mansfield and Arlington, Texas, our dedicated and compassionate team of doctors and staff are available to help you with all your eye care needs. They have a number of lifestyle remedies and medical treatments that will give you relief from chronic dry eye. 

Symptoms of chronic dry eye

Some of the symptoms of chronic dry eye are:

There are a number of treatment options for chronic dry eye. Simple lifestyle interventions can provide a lot of relief. 

Lifestyle tips for coping with chronic dry eye

Although dry eye can be quite uncomfortable, a number of small lifestyle changes can alleviate your symptoms.

Limit screen time

You probably spend a lot of time looking at screens, which can cause dry eye, because you tend to blink less often. Spending less time in front of a screen or taking frequent breaks can help give your eyes needed rest. It’s recommended that every 20 minutes, you take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away from you to let your eyes relax. 

Eye protection

As you know from spending a day at the beach or on the field, being outdoors can affect your eyes’ moisture levels. Wind and sun can pull moisture from your eyes. Wearing eye protection when you are outside is essential; wraparound sunglasses give you the best protection.

Dietary changes

Omega-3 fatty acids are important to your eye health, as they help the oily part of your tears be more effective. You can get more omega-3s by adding tuna, salmon, and walnuts to your diet, or by taking flaxseed oil or fish oil. 

Avoid smoking

Smoking has many negative impacts on your health and also contributes to dry eye. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer from dry eye than nonsmokers. If you don’t smoke, stay away from smokers and smoky places as much as possible.

Use a humidifier

If you live in a dry climate or use central heating during the winter, a humidifier can help your eyes. It will increase the humidity levels in your environment, preventing your eyes from losing as much moisture. 

Chronic dry eye is a serious condition that can impact your daily functioning. If left untreated, chronic dry eye can actually cause damage to your eyes. A number of small lifestyle changes bring you relief.

To set up an appointment at Paragon Eye Associates, call our office in Mansfield or Arlington, or use our online contact form today. 

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