09 Jul Summertime Tips for Chronic Dry Eye Sufferers
Keeping your eyes moist and lubricated is vital for eye health. It’s also important for eye comfort. When your eyes don’t get enough lubrication through tears, they can feel dry, scratchy, and irritated. This dry, irritating condition is called dry eye, and it’s widespread.
Dry eye syndrome affects about 5 million Americans, mostly older adults. While some report fewer dry eye symptoms in the summer because the air is more humid than in dry winter months, others find summertime dry eye symptoms to be worse because of sun exposure, swimming in chlorinated pools and salty oceans, and the heavy use of air conditioning.
What is dry eye?
Tears help nourish and lubricate your eyes. When your tear production is impaired through environmental conditions —such as dry air, wind, or sun — your eyes become dry. Tear production usually tapers off as you get older, so dry eye affects older people more than younger people, but anyone can develop it.
You can also develop dry eye when the quality of your tears is lacking. Tears are made up of three layers that all contribute to keeping your eyes moist and healthy. These layers are oil, water, and mucus.
The oil layer weighs down the water layer so it does not evaporate too quickly, while the mucus layer helps spread the water and oil evenly over the front of your eye. If one of those layers is deficient, the result can be dry eye symptoms.
Certain medications and medical conditions can also cause dry eye.
- A gritty feeling in your eyes
- Scratchy eyes
- Red eyes
- Irritated eyes
- The feeling that something is in your eyes
- Blurred vision
- Excess tears
How to treat dry eye in the summer
One of the first and best defenses against dry eye in the summer is a pair of good UV wraparound sunglasses to help shield your eyes from bright sun and glare. Wearing goggles while swimming also helps. Lastly, taking an omega-3 nutritional supplement such as PRN Nutraceutical omega-3 formula can help boost your overall eye health and reduce dry eye symptoms.
But if your dry eye is more severe, our specialists at Witlin Center for Advanced Eyecare offer more advanced treatment to help relieve problematic dry eye symptoms. A couple of these advanced treatment options include precision-heated eye masks and punctal plugs that restrict the draining of tears at the inner corners of your eyes.
Do you suffer from dry eye? Call for an appointment at Witlin Center for Advanced Eyecare with locations in East Brunswick, Toms River, and Morristown, New Jersey, to learn about the best treatment options.