Wednesday August 22, 2018
Leaves are starting to turn colour, soup is back on the menu and coats are making a re-appearance, but as we transition from summer to autumn there’s also an increase in people experiencing Dry Eye Syndrome.
Characterised by an uncomfortable, gritty sensation in your eyes, dry eye symptoms can include stinging, sensitivity to light, redness, difficulty wearing contact lenses and even distorted vision. For many the discomfort is temporary – perhaps experienced after a long-haul flight, while riding a bike or after a long period in front of a computer screen – and the symptoms quickly disappear. However, for others dry eye symptoms can become a perpetual problem known as ‘ocular surface disease’.
Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes fail to produce enough quality tears to adequately lubricate the surface of your eyes.
Common dry eye causes include:
- Prolonged exposure to wind, smoke or air conditioning
- Reduced blinking, caused by working at a screen or reading for long periods
- Living in a major city with high levels of pollution
- Specific medical conditions including diabetes, arthritis, thyroid disorders or vitamin A deficiency
- The use of certain medications including antihistamines, antidepressants, contraceptive pills or decongestants
- Tear gland damage from inflammation or radiation
- Laser eye surgery is one of the temporary dry eye causes
If left untreated, Dry Eye Syndrome can cause permanent damage to your eyes’ surface, leave you exposed to more serious eye infections and, in extreme cases, lead to vision loss.
So how can you reduce Dry Eye symptoms and prevent Dry Eye Syndrome all together?
At GPC Opticians , our optometrists are specialists in Dry Eye treatment in North London, and we offer comprehensive Dry Eye clinics to ensure all our patients receive the very best care and relief. During your appointment we’ll assess the extent of your condition, and make recommendations for Dry Eye treatment tailored to your eyes and also suggest lifestyle changes that may relieve the effects.
There are many things you can do to ease the effects of Dry Eye Syndrome and ensure your vision remains in good health as we transition from heat wave stricken summer 2019 into the cooler autumn. So whether you’re suffering from dry eye symptoms or wish to prevent them in the future, follow these top tips to remedy dry eye syndrome this season…
- Rest and Blink
Spend hours working at a computer screen? When you’re working with a fixed-gaze for long periods of time, you don’t blink as often as you normally do which in turn reduces lubrication of your eyes’ surface. The most effective dry eye treatment is to take breaks every 10 minutes to give your eyes a rest.
- Clear the Air
If you live in a major city like London, high levels of pollution put your eyes at heightened risk of dry eye syndrome. Consider using a high-quality air filter and a humidifier in your home to clean and add moisture to dry air.
- Artificial Tears
For temporary relief, lubricating eye drops are an effective dry eye treatment and are available over-the-counter without a prescription. Thicker lubricating gels can also help, but they can blur your vision so are best used before you go to bed.
- Shield Your Eyes from the Wind
While the late-summer sun keeps beating down, autumn breezes will start to pick up in September leading to increased tear evaporation. Invest in wraparound sunglasses to give your eyes maximum protection.
- Limit Exposure to Fans
Many of us will have relied on fans to get through the hot summer nights, but although they provide temporary relief from the heat, the constant breeze also serves to dry out your eyes. As the days cool off, try to limit your exposure to them.
- Avoid Smoke
Whether from cigarettes, BBQs or bonfires, smoke can irritate your eyes and exacerbate dry eye syndrome, so avoid smoke where you can.
- Eat Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help to supplement the oily film that keeps your eyes adequately lubricated. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and herring are packed with these vital nutrients, whilst flax seeds are a great vegetarian alternative.
- Warm Compress
If you’re suffering with dry eye symptoms, try holding a warm compress on your closed eyes. This can help release oil in your eyelids’ glands and improve the quality of your tears.
If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, call us on 01438 364 168 for dry eye treatment in North London today to avoid lasting damage.
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