This condition may have foreign body sensation, watery or dry eyes, blurred vision, and burning. It can be aggravated by smoke, wind, heat, low humidity, or prolonged use of the eye.
There are three parts/layers to your tears: (1) Oily outer layer, (2) Liquid central layer, (3) Mucus inner layer. Clogged glands can decrease the oily outer layer, causing the liquid layer to evaporate. This leaves the eye dry and irritated. Your reflexes kick in to improve the deficit but these secondary tears do not fix the problem, instead they run down your cheek. Checking your medications for causes of dryness and using artificial tears can help. Examples of medications that dry out your eye include allergy meds, hormone replacements, or acne meds.
- Consume more omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, sardines, tuna, walnuts) improve tear production. Consuming omega 6 fatty acids (crackers, chips, full-fat salad dressing and animal proteins such as beef) counter balances the effects of omega 3’s and could potentially induce dry eye symptoms.
- When flying, pressurized cabins tend to have less moisture and oxygen in the air which makes eyes drier. Avoid wearing contact lenses during the flight or take some artificial tears or rewetting drops along for more moisture.
- Flaxseed oil is one of the richest sources of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can raise levels of omega-3 fatty acids. Up to 50g of flaxseed is safe.
- Symptoms of dry eye can occur after LASIK, with women taking hormone replacement therapy, and with increasing age.
- Visine drops that indicate “redness relief” or “decreasing red eye” have a chemical that constricts blood vessels short-term and can dilate your pupil. This relief lasts a couple of hours but the vessels return to their original state, creating “rebound” redness. This does not solve the problem. See an eye doctor for treatment options whether over-the-counter relief or prescription.
- Latino patients are more prone to pinguecula formation (extra skin growth, yellow-white in color on the white portion of the eye). It is due to exposure to dust, wind and sun. Symptoms include irritation, redness and burning. Artificial tears can “flush” the dust away, sunglasses can reduced the UV rays causing the growth and also block the wind. People spending a lot of time outdoors need to protect themselves in these ways.
For dry eye relief, we recommend the following vitamins:
- Fish Oil / Flaxseed : 1000-2000mg/Day
- Lutein: 12-20mg/Day
Why it’s Important to Get Regular Eye Exams
Comprehensive eye exams often are the first way chronic systemic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes are detected. Regular eye exams are the best way to ensure eye health and maintaining your best vision possible. They also check for diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration.