Dry eyes is a condition that affects millions and it can be incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable. If you struggle with dry eyes, before you look for the best dry eye disease treatment, it's important to understand the underlying causes in order to find effective relief. One of the primary drivers of dry eyes is decreased tear production, which can be the result of aging, certain health conditions, or side effects from medications. Environmental factors such as dry, windy climates and prolonged screen time can also exacerbate the problem, along with certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking.

Understanding these diverse causes is key to developing a comprehensive dry eye disease treatment plan to alleviate the symptoms and restore eye comfort. While your trusted optometrist should be able to prescribe a range of treatments, there are a few changes you can make to your lifestyle to help relieve your symptoms.

Adjusting Your Screen Time

In today's digitally driven world, we all spend countless hours staring at screens. From computers at work, to smartphones and tablets at home, our eyes are constantly engaged with digital content. While this connectivity has its benefits, the prolonged exposure can lead to a debilitating condition known as digital eye strain, and one of the main symptoms of this condition is dryness of the eyes.

The good news is that by making a few simple adjustments to your screen time, you can mitigate the effects and protect your vision. Start by implementing the 20-20-20 rule - every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This brief respite allows your eyes to relax and refocus.

You should also be mindful of your screen brightness and contrast levels. Keeping them at a comfortable setting, not too bright or too dim, can ease the strain on your eyes. You may also want to consider using a screen filter or blue light blocking glasses to reduce exposure to the harsh blue wavelengths emitted by digital displays.

Optimising Your Environment with Humidity and Air Filtration

Creating a comfortable, healthy living space is essential not just for our eyes, but for our overall wellbeing. Two crucial factors to consider are humidity levels and air filtration. By improving these elements, you can transform your environment and experience significant benefits.

Maintaining the right humidity level is vital. Dry air can lead to dry eyes so it’s important to find the sweet spot – it lies between 30-50% relative humidity, and this can be achieved through the strategic use of humidifiers or dehumidifiers, depending on your needs.

Equally important is proper air filtration. Pollutants, allergens, and airborne contaminants can negatively impact your eyes, causing dryness and irritation. Investing in a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter is an excellent choice, as it captures up to 99.97% of airborne particles.

Dietary Changes to Support Tear Production

Making some simple dietary adjustments could make a significant difference to your dry eyes. By focusing on nutrient-rich foods that support eye health, you can naturally boost your tear output and find relief from irritating symptoms. One of the most important dietary considerations for tear production is omega-3 fatty acids. Foods like fatty fish, walnuts, and flaxseeds are rich in these healthy fats, which help reduce inflammation and promote tear gland function.

Similarly, antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables play a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of your tear film. Vitamins C and E, as well as carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin, all work to protect your eyes from oxidative stress and support overall ocular health.

Developing Healthy Blinking Habits Through Mindfulness

Blinking is more than just a reflexive action - it serves essential functions such as distributing tear film across the eyes, removing debris, and preventing eye strain. When we fail to blink regularly, we put our eyes at risk of dryness, irritation, and even long-term damage. By becoming more aware of our blinking habits and making conscious efforts to blink more frequently, we can safeguard our eyes and maintain optimal eye health.

Simple practices like setting reminders to take regular blinking breaks, consciously focusing on our blink rate during tasks, and incorporating eye-relaxing exercises can make a big difference.

Saying Goodbye to Smoking

Smoking is a well-known culprit behind a host of health issues, and its impact on eye health is no exception. If you're a smoker struggling with persistent dry eyes, you should strongly consider quitting.

Cigarette smoke contains a cocktail of harmful chemicals that can irritate and inflame the delicate tissues of the eyes. This irritation can disrupt the natural tear production and quality, leading to the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eyes. By quitting the cigarettes, you take a significant step towards restoring the health and function of your tear glands. This, in turn, can alleviate the burning, itching, and redness associated with dry eyes, allowing you to enjoy clearer, more comfortable vision.

The benefits of quitting smoking for dry eye relief are backed by extensive research. Studies have consistently shown that smokers are more likely to develop dry eye syndrome compared to non-smokers.

Take Control of Your Dry Eyes Today

If you're suffering from persistent dry eyes, you're not alone. Millions of people worldwide grapple with this annoying and often debilitating condition. But the good news is, with the right approach, you can take control of your dry eyes and reclaim your comfort. Explore these proven solutions and lifestyle adjustments and make an appointment to discuss your concerns with a local optometrist. Perth’s Abernethy Owens is here to help with innovative dry eye disease treatment. Call 1800 411 744 to make an appointment or book online now.