Having dry eyes can be very unpleasant. This common condition is caused by a lack of lubrication and insufficient moisture on the eye's surface. Dry eye syndrome affects a significant portion of the population. And this condition is amplified in people who work long hours in front of screens. What can be done for dry eyes? What are the best ways to relieve the discomfort? We answer all your questions in this article!

Understanding the causes to relieve dry eyes better

Dry eyes can cause many annoying symptoms, such as:

  • Sore eyes
  • Itchy or hot eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Blurred or fluctuating vision
  • Greater sensitivity to light
  • The sensation of having dust or an eyelash in the eye

One last symptom that may seem strange at first is watery eyes. Your eyes may produce excess tears as a defence mechanism to counteract dry eyes. However, the tearing doesn't last long enough. What's more, it may not be the right type of lubrication to compensate for the dryness of the eye.

Dry eyes can be experienced in varying degrees ranging from mild irritation to severe inflammation. If left untreated, dry eyes can, in some cases, cause small lesions on the surface of your eyes. Dry eye is a condition that tends to be chronic; however, several treatments and adjustments can be made to reduce its disturbing effects.

Some causes of dry eyes are beyond your control. For example, specific health problems, medications or conditions, such as menopause or aging, can cause dry eyes. We suggest that you try these tips to help alleviate the symptoms:

Tip #1: Relieve dry eyes by blinking more often

We often blink much less when using the computer or other digital devices. Taking breaks or blinking voluntarily while using the computer or any other digital device will cause you to blink more often, which will increase the moisture in your eyes.

Tip #2: Choose a pair of glasses with blue light filtering lenses

These glasses block the excess blue light emitted by your digital devices. Overexposure to this blue light can contribute to discomfort and dry eyes.

Tip #3: Add more omega-3 to your diet

Eating more foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and increase the quality of your tears—two factors that may be affecting your eyes. Omega-3s are a natural treatment for dry eyes. For example, you could try this delicious salmon recipe. If you're not so fond of salmon, you can always opt for omega-3 supplements.

Tip #4: Relieve dry eyes by applying warm compresses

Placing a warm compress over your eyes will help release the oils that your eyes naturally secrete, which helps lubricate them.

Tip #5: Check the level of heating around you

Heating systems, air conditioners and fans can dry out your eyes. It can be beneficial to add a little moisture to the air in your home. During the winter months, you can install a humidifier. During the warmer months, make sure your eyes are not directly exposed to the cold air from your air conditioner or fan.

Tip #6: Have a good makeup removal routine

Makeup can clog the pores around your eyes, so it's essential to remove it completely, especially before bed!

Tip #7: Wear quality sunglasses

UV rays are harmful to your eyes and can dry them out. It is essential to take care of your eyes when exposed to the sun. A good quality pair of sunglasses is a great solution!

Tip #8: Quit smoking to relieve dry eyes

In addition to being beneficial to your overall health, your eyes are likely to regain their optimal level of lubrication if you quit smoking. Cigarettes tend to change the quality of your tears, which will lead to drier eyes in the long run.

Tip #9: Take regular contact lens breaks

Although they are very convenient in your daily life, contact lenses can contribute to dry eye syndrome. We recommend that you alternate wearing your glasses with your contact lenses. Your glasses will give your eyes a well-deserved break.

Tip #10: Use artificial tears to relieve dry eyes

Eye drops, commonly called "artificial tears," are available over the counter. They help to relieve your dry eye symptoms temporarily. But be careful; it is not a miracle solution. If you experience frequent dryness or eye strain, the real solution probably lies in changing some of your lifestyle and work habits.

While these tips can help you manage the symptoms, make sure your eyes get the proper care they deserve. Your optometrist is the best person to determine if the symptoms you are experiencing are due to dry eye or if another condition is the cause. Once a diagnosis has been made, your optometrist will advise you on the best treatment or combination of treatments for you.

Schedule an eye exam today at an IRIS store nearest you to learn more.