By Paula Eshoo, Admin/Marketing, Middlesex Eye Physicians
Editor’s Note: This is the 2nd of 8 articles being presented by Middlesex Eye Physicians. Part one was published on August 26, 2021 and can be found here: https://hk-now.com/middlesex-eye-presents-eyes-are-precious-eye-have-a-secret-that-will-open-your-eyes/
Do you love spending time on your phone or tablet answering emails, texts, streaming videos? The majority of us engage in these activities daily, for multiple hours. This is now the normal way of life.
Statistical data states that over 30 million people internationally suffer from dry-eye disease. Dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t make enough tears, or your tears are not productive. There are many reasons eyes get dry and can include increased screen time, our normal aging process and some auto immune disorders such as Lupus or Thyroid disorders. Dry eye disease is a little sneaky because in some people, there is little in the way of symptoms. Symptoms can however include red, itchy, watery eyes, feeling of grit or sand in your eye and blurred vision.
What can be done? Eye will tell you…
Care for your eyes by not smoking and avoiding areas where others are smoking. Use a personal humidifier at your workstation or at home. Avoid fans or air conditioning blowing on your eyes. Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from sun and wind.
Some things you can do to alleviate symptoms would be to use artificial tears such as Theratears or Refresh. Warm compresses or heat can be used for at least once a day for 10 minutes. The Bruder Eye mask pops in the microwave and is a way to obtain long-lasting heat without water.
Wash your eyes at least once a day with a lid scrub (Ocusoft or Avenova) and use a product such as Sterilid to further keep the lash line clean. Taking a good quality Omega 3 supplement and increasing your water intake will add to the health of your eyes. Lastly, the “20-20-20 Rule” will provide relief; every 20 minutes, look 20 feet ahead, for 20 seconds, to rest your eyes.
Your eyecare provider can help determine the cause behind the symptoms and can tell you what can be done to improve eye health and decrease/eliminate symptoms. Treatments such as medications to increase tear production, punctal plugs, or Lipiflow (an FDA approved treatment), are current options for patients. Between 84-93% of people with dry eye symptoms have Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) which is treatable with the use of Lipiflow and other treatments.
Don’t cry, your eyes can be treated, and you can feel better. Remember to keep your annual eye appointments and see your eyecare provider if you experience any uncomfortable symptoms or changes in your vision.