While the blink of an eye takes only about a tenth of a second, it provides crucial benefits for the health of your eyes. That blink serves to spread tears over the surface of your eyes, replenishing valuable lubrication, protecting from infection, and clearing away any foreign debris.
If you suffer from dry eye, however, your eyes are left dry, scratchy, dehydrated, and extremely vulnerable. At Montrose Eye Care in Houston, Texas, we want to help our patients avoid the irritation and potential eye problems that can come with dry eye, so we’ve gathered these nine helpful tips for improving the health of your eyes:
1. From the inside out
Your nutritional health can have an enormous effect on your ability to produce good tears, which are more than just water. Tears also contain mucus and oils that create a protective surface over your eyes. Studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids help support the glands that produce the oil in your tears. So, add some fish or flaxseed to your diet, or talk to us about which supplements deliver the best bang for your buck when it comes to omega-3.
In fact, you should make sure that you’re covering all of your vitamin bases when it comes to eye health — get plenty of lutein, vitamins A, C, and E, and zinc.
2. Stop the stare
Do you spend a lot of time in front of a screen? You’d be amazed at how much this slows your blinking. Avoid staring too long at a screen by incorporating the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. These breaks help your eyes take a quick timeout.
3. Shields up
One of the best ways to combat dry eye is to wear sunglasses when you’re outside. If dust kicks up and gets into your eyes on a windy day, your already beleaguered eyes have a tough time clearing the matter out and maintaining lubrication. Be sure to wear glasses that provide 100% UV protection and also protect your eyes from the sides.
4. Keep it clean
For women, it’s especially important that you remove your eye makeup before bed each night. If you suffer from dry eyes, the more you can do to minimize introducing foreign matter into your eyes, the better.
5. Turn up the heat
Hot compresses applied to your eyes each day for 10 minutes go a long way toward opening up your meibomian glands, which are responsible for the oil in your tears. It’s important that you follow Dr. Lovero’s instructions for these compresses by ensuring that they’re at the right temperature and that you keep them on for the recommended amount of time.
6. As prescribed
Dry eyes can lead to inflammation in your eyelids or on the surface of your eye. In these cases, Dr. Lovero may prescribe an antibiotic treatment, which comes in pills or drops, to help resolve the issue. Use the medication as prescribed because the inflammation only makes your dry eyes worse.
7. Hydration from the inside
There’s no shortage of reasons why you should make sure you drink enough water throughout the day, and dry eyes is one of them. If you have dry eyes, be sure to drink at least eight glasses of 8 ounces of water each day.
8. Hydration from the outside
You can deliver a powerful hydration one-two punch if you not only increase your water intake, but also add humidity to the air around you. Whether you’re at home or at work, try using a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air.
9. Let us help
These tips for dealing with dry eyes can have a big impact, but you should also check in with us so we can monitor your condition. Dr. Lovero has a number of treatments that prevent your ducts from draining your tears too quickly or that add tears to your dry eyes.
If you’re struggling with the discomfort of dry eyes, call Montrose Eye Care or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.