How Should I Treat My Dry Eyes At Home?

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If you struggle with dry eyes, you know how hard it can be to get relief. Trying to find a safe and effective way to soothe the burning, itching, and soreness caused by dry eyes is often frustrating.

Many of our patients at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa have asked us, How should I treat my dry eyes at home?

We’re going to show you some very simple at-home care tips to get relief from and treat symptoms of dry eyes and dry eye syndrome and tell you when you should see a doctor for more serious symptoms in Tuscaloosa, AL.

What causes dry eyes?

Everyone’s eyes can get dry or irritated from a wide variety of causes. Dry, hot weather, allergies, environmental irritants like smoke and dust, wind and air circulation, and more can dry out the eyes, causing discomfort. This is very common and can typically be resolved by removing yourself from or avoiding these irritants or using eye drops.

However, when the symptoms become severe enough to affect your eyesight or daily activities and don’t improve, or worsen over time, it may be an indicator of a more serious condition: dry eye syndrome.

What is the difference between dry eyes and dry eye syndrome?

Normal dry eyes are most often caused by external irritants, allergies, illness, or overexertion. Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes can’t produce enough tears to adequately lubricate the eyes. This lack of tears or good quality tears can cause eye inflammation and even damage the surface of the eyes. It can also increase the risk for eye infections and decrease your overall quality of life.

Dry eye syndrome, or dry eye disease, can be caused by aging, autoimmune and chronic diseases, certain medications, vitamin A deficiency, hormonal changes, inflamed or infected eyelid glands, and allergic eye disease.

The most common symptoms of dry eye disease can include:

  • Burning or stinging
  • Itchy, scratchy sensation
  • Stringy mucus in the eyes or around the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Redness and irritation
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye strain and fatigue
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

How can I treat dry eyes at home?

Treating your dry eye symptoms at home can be both safe and effective. Here are some very easy ways you can both soothe your dry eyes and improve eye health at home:

  • Use eye drops or artificial tears
  • Keep your eyelids clean by gently washing them
  • Use a warm, damp compress
  • Blink more often, especially when reading or on the computer
  • Use a humidifier and air filter
  • Supplement your diet with Vitamin A and/or fish oil
  • Get enough sleep
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Take regular screen breaks from the computer and phone
  • Avoid cigarette smoke and other environmental irritants
  • Avoid places with high air circulation

When should I see a doctor for my dry eyes?

Many of our patients ask us if their dry eye symptoms are serious enough to see a doctor. In general, we recommend patients schedule an appointment at inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa, AL if they are experiencing:

  • Dry eyes that don’t improve after 3 ­– 5 days of home care
  • Eye pain that doesn’t improve or worsens
  • Blurriness that significantly affects vision
  • Eye discharge or flaking
  • Swelling and/or redness
  • Dry mouth
  • Joint pain with swelling and stiffness
  • An injury to the eye
  • Inability to produce tears (ex: when crying)

Get relief for your dry eyes

If these at-home tips haven’t helped relieve your dry eye symptoms, don’t suffer from the redness, irritation, burning, and frustration. At inVision Ophthalmology Tuscaloosa, our experienced team of doctors is ready to help. Contact our office in Tuscaloosa, AL today to learn more about dry eyes and dry eye syndrome and schedule an appointment. Let us help you get relief from your dry eyes for clearer vision and a better quality of life.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.