Dry eye syndrome is also called as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) or keratitis sicca. In this condition, you will feel your eyes getting dry, itchy, red and they may even burn. If you are having extreme discomfort in your eyes, it may not be normal. This is not a condition that you need to live with. Millions of people are affected by dry eye syndrome every year. Here, you will find tips to manage dry eye syndrome and improve your eye health.
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1. Talk to your eye specialist
If you’re having any problem in your eye, you should consult your eye specialist. You should do it as soon as you can. Do not procrastinate when it is about your eyes. It is important to have a yearly checkup. If you’re having burning, dryness, itchiness or redness of your eyes, you should immediately consult an eye specialist.
2. Strictly avoid allergic foods
If you’re allergic to some foods, you should strictly avoid them. You can stop eating categories of foods for a week and find out how you feel. You can also visit an allergist for testing your allergy problems. Some of the most common allergenic foods are nightshades which include eggplant, tomatoes, peppers cucumbers and white potatoes, wheat, milk and corn.
3. Watch your diet
Avoid toxic fats
You need to avoid toxic fats which are present in commercial red meat, fried foods, dairy products and man-made fats. You need to avoid them because they can interfere with the metabolism of essential fatty acids present in your body and cause dry eye syndrome indirectly.
Avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners
If you consume more than 11 teaspoons of sugar every day, it results in dry eye syndrome. Sugar is always available in different types of refined and processed foods which include cereals, soda, ketchups and salad dressings.
4. Take a look at your workplace
Your workplace may be responsible for causing dry eye syndrome. If then environment has dry air, it can cause and enhance dry eye problem. You can protect your eyes from dry air by changing your workplace or moving your desk.
5. Use a humidifier in your home or office
A humidifier may be necessary in your office or home. It is important to keep the air moist, which will help in reducing the dryness in your eyes. Do not add anything in the mister tray, if the humidifier has one. You need to keep the air clean of any irritants.
6. Use nutritional supplements
Nutritional supplements such as flax seed and oil, fish oil supplements, fatty fish are important in improving the health of your eyes because they contain omega-3 fatty acids in high amount. Omega-3 fatty acids are very good for your eyes. There are other supplements which are good for your eye health. You should include them in your diet. Consult your doctor before adding any nutritional supplements into your existing diet.
7. Use the proven medicines
There are several different medicines which are proven effective in case of dry eye syndrome. Restasis is such a medicine that helps patients suffering from dry eye syndrome. Medicated eye drops help the tear glands by producing more tears. They also improve the quality of the tears. Over-the-counter ointments can also be used which will increase the amount of fluid present in the eyes. Your doctor will be able to advise you better on the different types of medicines that you can use to get rid of dry eye syndrome.
8. Adjust your computer and other digital devices
Adjust the computer
Computers can result in dry eye syndrome and other related eye problems. According to cornea specialists, dry eyes have reached epidemic levels.However, it is possible to manage and prevent the problems by adjusting the position and location of your computer in your workspace in your office or home. You should move your computer monitor every from the window to avoid glare or extraneous light. Such light causes eyestrain for the computer users. You can also use adjustable shades, blinds and curtains to control the light during the day. If necessary, you can use an antiglare screen to reduce reflections.
Adjust the height of your monitor for maximum eye comfort. The centre of the screen should be 5 to 9 inches below your horizontal line of sight. Also adjust the display of your computer using the display settings so as to reduce eye strain and fatigue. The brightness of your monitor should match the brightness of the surrounding.
While using computers, you should take breaks. You should not continue working for hours without taking a break. You can follow the 20/20/20 rule- take a 20 second break after every 20 minutes and focus on a point which is 20 feet from your computer.
Distance to the monitor
Also adjust the distance of your monitor. You can check that by trying to touch the monitor when you are sitting back in your chair. If you can’t touch your monitor at that position, it is too close. Move your monitor further. In this case, you can use the “one third rule.” Display a typical document or email on your monitor screen and then move back from the screen until it starts to look blurred. Measure the distance and divided it by 3. Your monitor should be at that distance.
Proper lighting in indoors
While working indoors, you need to make sure that you are using proper lighting. The lighting should not be too less. Stop working under overhead fluorescent lights. There is a mirror test should will help you to find out if the lighting is good for you. Take a pocket mirror and place it on the computer screen. If you see bright sources of light or light bulbs in the mirror, you need to adjust the position of your monitor to reduce the glare to save your eyes from dry eye syndrome and other eye problems.
Keep digital devices away from your eyes
If you’re using digital devices, hold them away from your eyes. Hold them at a distance where you would have held a printed material or a newspaper. If you hold digital devices closer to your eyes, it will cause strain and stress for your eyes. Hold your smart phone, and other digital devices away from your eyes to save your eyes from dry eye syndrome.
9. Avoid cigarette smoking
If you stop smoking cigarettes, it will help you to get rid of and prevent dry eye syndrome. Smoking irritates your eyes and it can result in chronic inflammation of the membrane present in the eyelid. Such inflammation can result in dryness of the eyes. Whether you smoke or you get second-hand smoke from other people’s cigarettes, both can cause problems for your eyes.
10. Take care of your eyes
To take care of your eyes you can apply artificial tears. They provide relief from dry eye syndrome. If you lack natural tears, it results in dry eye problems. Over-the-counter tear replacers are available in different forms-drops, gel inserts, gels and ointments.
Wear wraparound shades to prevent your eyes from sun and wind. If your eyes are exposed to these two elements, evaporation of tears occurs. If you find shades with foam seals, use them because they provide a closer fit. While indoor, you can use moisture chamber glasses or goggles. They help to trap moisture around your eyes.
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