Imagine you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch a Lakers game
from floor seats at center court. It’s the fourth quarter, the score
is tied and the clock is ticking. At this moment, the last thing you want
to deal with are dry eyes that cause discomfort and blurred vision. You
don’t want to miss the play that everyone will talk about for weeks
because you were squinting. Find relief today, so you’re ready when
opportunity appears right in front of your eyes.
The oddest symptom of dry eye
Interestingly, watery eyes can sometimes be a symptom of dry eye syndrome.
When the eye surface becomes dry, it triggers the production of the watery
component in your tears. This acts as a protective mechanism for your
eye. Unfortunately, this reflexive act of tearing does not happen long
enough or consistently enough to correct any underlying dry eye condition.
Most of the time, dry eyes occur when your eyes do not produce enough tears
to lubricate the eye. Typical symptoms can include pain, itching, redness,
and blurry vision. Many people also describe feeling like something is
in their eye, like sand.
Douse the dryness
To help relieve the discomfort of dry eyes, here are some practical tips:
If you work at a computer for long stretches of time, take a break every
15-20 minutes to shift your vision away from the screen and take a few
long blinks. Blinking spreads tears across the surface of the eye, helping
Smoke from cigarettes or cigars irritate the eyes and may contribute to
dry eye. Smoking is unhealthy for a lot of reasons, but it’s also
important to avoid secondhand smoke, especially if you are prone to dry eyes.
Try artificial tears
Whether you suffer from chronic dry eye, or experience intermittent discomfort,
artificial tears can provide quick relief. There are many over-the-counter
options, so check with your optometrist to see which one is right for you.
Sleep refreshes your eyes by creating a ‘moisture chamber’
around the eye and encouraging tears. It's generally recommended to
consistently get at least seven hours of sleep at night.
Follow in Alicia Keys’ footsteps
The singer no longer wears makeup. While she may do it for different reasons,
we can take a page from her book. Using makeup around the eyes can cause
inflammation and increase your risk of dry eyes. Washing your eyes with
an over-the-counter eyelid cleanser may help reduce inflammation and restore
Here's why they're dry
Dry eyes can be a temporary or chronic condition. They often result from
aging or certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis,
lupus, thyroid disorders, or vitamin A deficiency.
Women who are pregnant are at a heightened risk of developing dry eyes
because of a shift in progesterone and estrogen hormone levels.
See your doctor if painful dry eye persists.
Franklin Inouye, OD, is an optometrist at St. Mary High Desert Medical Group.
How have you been able to keep your eyes from becoming parched? Tell us
in a comment below.