How to soothe dry eyes

Symptoms aren’t just irritating – if left untreated they may harm your eyesight.

How to soothe dry eyes

Dry eyes are a natural side-effect of ageing, but can also be a byproduct of various medicines, such as rheumatoid arthritis, collagen vascular diseases, Sjogren’s syndrome or physical defects that make closing the eyelids difficult or impossible. Symptoms aren’t just irritating – if left untreated they may harm your sight.

Our tears are made from water, mucus and oil and help to keep the eyes moist and healthy. A lack of tears is a major contributor to dry eyes, so the more tears the better. If you aren’t able to cry over sad movies all day, don’t worry, you can choose from a variety of brands of ‘artificial tears’. WebMD recommends using preservative-free artificial tears if you plan to use them regularly, as preservatives may further irritate the eyes.

If artificial tears aren’t enough to prevent dry eyes, there are other products that can assist with symptoms and inflammation. Consult with your doctor for the best way to improve the condition.

Make sure you’re eating enough omega-3 fatty acids, as these help your body to produce the oily part of your tears. Wearing sunscreen and limiting your screen time can also help to prevent dry eyes.

Should the oil in the glands at the sides of your eyes cool down and solidify, it can dry your eyes and prevent the release of tears.

To counteract this, WebMD recommends holding a warm face towel to your closed eyes once or twice a day for between 30 seconds and four minutes. Gently massaging your eyes can also help to clear built-up oil. Rub your index fingers over your closed eyes in a circular motion, then run a cotton swab over your eyelids towards the lash line to help clear out your eyes.

Small plugs can also be put into your eye ducts so that tears stay on the surface of your eyes longer rather than draining into your sinuses. If symptoms are severe, surgery is available to close these ducts permanently.

Do you suffer from dry eyes? What do you do to ease the symptoms? Let us know in the comment section below.

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    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.





    COMMENTS

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    disillusioned
    9th Jun 2019
    9:59am
    I have had dry eyes for many years, partly due, I think, to rosacea. I have also had the punctals (drain holes) cauterised several times, as plugs irritated my eyes, but they kept opening up again. Air-con doesn't help, especially when I worked in an office environment. This is exacerbated by the fact that my eyes don't completely close at night. After some suggestions from several eye specialists, and after trial and error with my own chemical sensitivities, I find that what works for me is this: before I go to sleep at night, I tear off a strip of cling wrap, approx 10cm wide, fold it down into a strip approx. 3-4 cms wide, put in a glob of Optifresh eye gel into each eye, put on the rectangle of cling wrap, pat it gently to fit across both eyes over the closed lids (the gel helps it stick down), and enjoy a good sleep for several hours. If I have to get up to go to the loo, I have Bion tears handy, so I use a vial of that for both eyes, close my eyes and put the same piece of cling wrap back on, gel side down to my eyes. Each night I use a fresh pieced of cling wrap. The Optifresh can be replaced with Viscotears, but I stick to the Bion tears as they are the most compatible with my eyes, and as I an a pensioner I get 3 boxes on each script. If my eyes are dry during the day, or if I'm travelling on a train (aircon) or plane (again aircon) I keep vials of Bion tears with me in my handbag. This remedy has been serving me well for over 15 years.
    ChristineS
    9th Jun 2019
    1:40pm
    I suffer from dry eyes and have rubbed my eyes so much I have given myself a black eye :-( When I went to GP she suggested using a cotton bud moistened in Johnson's Baby Shampoo (no tears) & boiled warm water and using that to massage the corner of my eyes. I admit I tend not to do this very much - a bit fiddly. I have also tried the warm flannel over my eyes. I purchase eye drops over the counter - I didn't realise I could get them on a prescription so will be asking my GP about that when I see her next.
    Grammy
    9th Jun 2019
    1:43pm
    Opitmel eye drops from the pharmacy are wonderful. Made from Manuka honey in Queensland these drops are very effective. They sting like blue blazes but are worth the short term discomfort!
    Barnesy1
    9th Jun 2019
    3:02pm
    Just adding to Grammy's comments. There is also an Optimel gel - it is applied to the under side of one's eye lids. It is stronger than the eye drops but really good value. I use it once or twice per day and it does the trick nicely.
    Barnesy1
    9th Jun 2019
    3:02pm
    Just adding to Grammy's comments. There is also an Optimel gel - it is applied to the under side of one's eye lids. It is stronger than the eye drops but really good value. I use it once or twice per day and it does the trick nicely.
    gold miner
    9th Jun 2019
    3:35pm
    Here is a quick temporary fix for dry eyes if you are out and dont have drops with you. Close your eyes and fake a big yawn. This will cause the eyes to water and give you some relief. I use Muirine eye spray on my eyes before I go to sleep and again if I wake up during the night. I am lucky that my eyes dont bother me during the day.
    Wen
    9th Jun 2019
    4:22pm
    My Dr said for me to wash my eyes each day with baby shampoo and a little water so far working ok She also said I could use thera tears Steri Lid but it is $35 a small bottle so she suggested the baby shampoo
    Rosret
    9th Jun 2019
    9:07pm
    Does it sting the eyes?


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