Lifestyle Tips to Cope With Chronic Dry Eye

You know the itchy, irritating feeling of dry eyes that results from long hours in the sun or staring at a screen. Typically, after a good night’s sleep, your dry eyes feel refreshed and lubricated.

But sometimes dry eye persists, causing a chronic condition, especially for people 50 years and older. About 5 million Americans over 50 suffer from dry eye, and more women than men are affected. This condition can cause discomfort and distress. However, if you make some lifestyle changes, you can get relief from chronic dry eye.

If it goes untreated, dry eye can cause damage to your eyes. Friction and irritation can harm your cornea, your eye’s clear protective layer, resulting in vision problems.

Dr. Nicholas Rutkowski can help you get relief from chronic dry eye. Here are his suggestions on ways to treat and get relief from chronic dry eye.

Chronic dry eye symptoms

Symptoms of chronic dry eye include:

You have several treatment options for chronic dry eye, and some simple lifestyle changes can provide relief. 

Lifestyle changes that relieve chronic dry eye

Several small lifestyle changes can alleviate symptoms of chronic dry eye.

Reduce screen time

Long hours of looking at screens can cause dry eye because you tend to blink less often. Reducing screen time and taking frequent breaks can help give your eyes needed rest. It’s recommended that you take a 20-second break every 20 minutes, and look at something 20 feet away from you to let your eyes relax. 

Protect your eyes

Wind and sun can pull moisture from your eyes. Always wear eye protection when you’re outside; wraparound sunglasses give you the best protection.

Dietary changes

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for eye health because they increase the effectiveness of the oily part of your tears. To get more omega-3s, add tuna, salmon, and walnuts to your diet. Also, take flaxseed oil or fish oil supplements. 

Avoid smoking

Smoking contributes to dry eye. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer from dry eye than nonsmokers. If you don’t smoke, don’t start, and stay away from smoky places as much as possible.

Use a humidifier

Dry climates and central heating during the winter can cause chronic dry eye. A humidifier, which increases humidity levels in your environment, can prevent your eyes from losing moisture. 

If you suffer from chronic dry eye, give Dr. Rutkowski a call and book an appointment at one of the three convenient locations in Frankfort, Bourbonnais and Elgin, Illinois. You also can request an appointment using online booking, or send a message to Dr. Rutkowski and the team here on the website.

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