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12 expert tips to deal with dry eyes

Monday 13 January 2014

Do you suffer from strained, burning eyes very often? You’re not alone. According to the American Association of Ophthalmology, approximately 3.2 million women and 1.7 million men over the age of 50 suffer from chronic dry eyes. So, it’s time to react. Read more about dry eyes – its causes, symptoms, treatment.

Know the condition

Dry eyes is a condition where the ducts within the eyelids that produce tears, dry up. In the winters this problem is even more severe. According to Dr Sanjay Dhawan, director, Ophthalmology, at Fortis Hospital, this is mainly because of the cold dry air and dry indoor heating. Since tears are very essential for the proper functioning of the eyes,since they provide lubrication for the eyelids to glide over the eye ball, tears help to keep the eye ball moist. Dry eyes can lead to lower resolution of vision and in some cases can cause severe damage to the eye ball itself, not to mention the added risks of performing daily activities with bad eyesight. (Read:Treatment for dry eyes)

According to recent news reports, people above 50 years are at a higher risk of suffering from dry eyes. It is also more commonly seen in women who suffer from menopause at an early age.

Recognise the symptoms

The symptoms of the condition are quite noticeable and unfortunately often ignored. But recognising them is extremly important. Here are some distinguishing signs that you migh be suffering from dry eyes:

1) Feeling dry or itchy in the eye

2) Having irritation in the eye throughout the day

3) Fatigue and redness in the eyes at the end of the day

4) Not being able to see clearly at the end of the day

When you should visit a doctor:

1) Ideally, any sign of vision disturbance should be looked at by an eye doctor. But if you are one of those people who do not wish to visit a physician for minor

2) ailments, the most glaring sign that something is wrong is constant itching and burning in the eye. Visit your eye doctor as soon as you can if you have had

3) any two of the above symptoms. At an early stage dry eyes can be managed very well with slight modifications.

Prevent the onset

Prevention is always better than cure, so here are some handy tips to protect your eyes from the harsh winter: Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from cold wind and excess light. Use artificial tears or tear substitutes at least four times a day. If you prefer to use is lesser or more number of times, you can. If the condition becomes worse, visit a doctor who will prescribe you a lubricating ointment which you will have to use at bedtime. Use a humidifier along with your heater, so that indoor air has enough moisture. To provide additional humidity to your eyes you wear special glasses that form a moisture chamber around the eye.

After a long day at work or if your eyes feel strained, place a warm, damp washcloth across your eyelids for a couple minutes, to help relieve the symptoms and strain.

1) Add more Omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil supplements to your diet.

2) Keep the home environment humid — between 30 and 50 percent.

3) Drink lots of fluids, and stay hydrated.

4) Opt for green tea and chrysanthemum tea instead of your regualr chai. They are beneficial for eyes and prevent eye strain.

Dry eyes is a preventable condition and just a little care will go a long way in thwarting its onset. Just follow these simple rules and you will be well on your way to healthy eyes.

Sources:

  1. Health India:
    How to deal with dry eyes.

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