Woman looks closely at her eyes in a mirror
Whatever the cause, dry eye is uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are several types of treatment.

How to Bring Hydration Back to Your Dry Eyes

Dry eyes can be irritating. You can treat dry eyes yourself with drops and different types of eye protection, but in serious cases, you may need to see an eye doctor. In this article we look at the causes of dry eyes, how to manage symptoms, and different treatments that are available.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

The red, itchy uncomfortable feeling of this health condition is ultimately caused by a lack of tear production. There are several things that can cause a lack of tear production such as age, different medical conditions, laser eye surgery and damage to the tear glands.

While there are health factors, there are also environmental factors that can cause dry eyes. Wind, smoke and dry air can dry out your eyes.

What Are the Risk Factors for Dry Eyes

If you have dry eyes, there are different things to consider that can play a factor:

  • Being 50 years or older.
  • Being a female.
  • Consuming a diet low in vitamins, like vitamin A and omega 3.
  • Wearing contact lenses.

Fortunately, there are several types of treatments.

Managing Dry Eyes

There are different things you can do to ensure your dry eyes don't get any worse. Different lifestyle changes and quitting bad habits can help improve symptoms. Here are some things to try:

  • Stop smoking.
  • Limit screen time.
  • If you wear contacts, remove them before sleeping.
  • Wash your face and remove cosmetics before sleeping.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Use a humidifier if the air in your home is dry.
  • Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses or safety goggles when needed.

If you are experiencing frequent symptoms, consult your doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

Different Medication That Can Cause Dry Eye

This health condition may arise from a wide array of causes. Therefore, an evaluation by an optometrist is necessary. An eye specialist can give a precise diagnosis and prescribe an effective treatment plan for your eyes.

Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs may contribute to dry eyes. There are a few medications that are known to cause dry eyes in individuals:

  • Hormone therapies.
  • Allergy medications.
  • Prescriptions used to treat Parkinson’s disease.
  • High blood pressure medications.
  • Anxiety reducing pharmaceuticals.

Sometimes a simple change in medication resolves eye discomfort and dryness.

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Dry Eye Symptoms

  1. Protect your eyes from harsh light, wind, and temperature extremes. Wrap around sunglasses provides excellent protection from the elements. Wear good quality sunglasses whenever you are outdoors.
  2. Environmental allergies may contribute to dry eyes. Take preventative steps so that you can reduce your sensitivity. If seasonal allergy symptoms are present, consult with your doctor or pharmacist regarding remedies that have a reduced likelihood of causing dry eyes.
  3. Use natural cleansers on your body and in your environment. Only use hypoallergenic products on your face.
  4. Avoid smoky or smoggy conditions when possible. Don’t sit next to fans, heaters, wood stoves, or air conditioners.
  5. Some people find that sleeping with an eye mask on relieves discomfort. Try placing a moist cloth over your eye area. Black tea bags reduce puffiness and irritation when applied to closed eyes.
  6. Avoid eye strain. Limit reading, television and computer time. Make sure that you have adequate light while performing detailed tasks. Avoid night driving if that is uncomfortable.
  7. Drink plenty of water. Limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol as both compounds are drying.
  8. Do not smoke. If you are a smoker, talk with your doctor about quit smoking programs and treatment options.
  9. Eat a well-balanced diet. Include plenty of colorful produce. Be sure to consume purple, orange, red, yellow and green fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. They contain phytochemicals which improve eye health.
  10. Take a high-quality multivitamin daily. Several vitamin and mineral products are readily available which support eye health.
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Medication and Professional Treatment for Dry Eyes

Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops, gels and ointments can provide temporary relief for mild or intermittent dry eye. Don’t use drops which contain antihistamine medications designed to relieve eye redness as antihistamines are drying.

Dry eyes may require treatment with prescription medications, surgery or other procedures.

Advanced Treatment Options for Dry Eyes

Plugs can be surgically implanted into tear ducts to prevent drainage of tears. Sometimes the ducts that drain tears away from the eyes are surgically closed in an attempt to keep the eye moist. Medications and technology are used to increase tear production.

Dry Eyes: Help is Available Now!

While experts are exploring even better treatment options than currently available, help is available now. You do not have to be plagued by dry eyes.

Talk with your health care providers and an optometrist, and implement the lifestyle changes outlined above and you may notice your eye health and comfort level improve.

If you suffer from this health condition, it's good to try and pinpoint what may be causing it, so your health care provider and formulate an adequate treatment plan.