Dry Eyes – What Can I Do?
Contact lenses tend to dry out more this time of year resulting in vision loss and irritation. Dry eyes can also occur because of dietary changes and shifting hormone levels. Although there are many causes of dry eyes, the treatment protocols are all very similar in nature.
What Causes Dry Eyes?
The sensation of a 'dry eye' results simply when there are not enough tears to cover the ocular surface. Our tears are made up of two main layers – a layer of water that coats the eye itself and a layer of oil that covers the water layer. The water layer moisturizes the eye and the oil layer helps to lubricate the tissue and most importantly, the water layer from evaporating.
How to Prevent Dry Eyes?
One of the best ways to help prevent dry eyes this winter is to maintain a good oily layer of tears on the eye. Massaging the lower eyelids for 3-5 minutes both in the morning and at night will help increase the flow of oils into your tear film. This will absolutely help to keep more tears on your eyes and result in less dry eyes.
Another suggestion would be to use a GOOD artificial tear 4 times a day. Just like lotion for dry skin and lip balm for chapped lips, the eyes can use some extra moisturizing this time of year as well. For contact lens wearers, there are dry eye specific contacts available as well as cleaning solutions specifically designed for these symptoms.