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4 Factors That Irritate Dry Eyes

4 Factors That Irritate Dry Eyes

If you have dry eyes, you’re far from alone — about one in 20 Americans — or more than 16 million people in the United States — have “dry eye syndrome.” This means that your eyes frequently feel dry and you may have difficulty producing tears. Anyone can develop dry eyes, although women and older adults are at extra risk.

Having dry eyes may be uncomfortable, but you don’t have to live with it; there’s a lot you can do to manage the problem and ease your symptoms. Read on as dry eye expert Dr. Randa Garrana of Advanced Lasik explains more.

What causes dry eyes?

A lot of factors can make your eyes dry. A big part of it seems to be part of the normal aging process: Our eyes just naturally produce fewer tears as we get older. 

Being female is another risk factor, as women are more likely than men to experience dry eyes. This is likely caused by hormones, as women may experience more dryness during periods of hormonal changes (such as in pregnancy or during menopause.)

Lifestyle is another major factor. We’re surrounded by things that make our eyes dry, such as staring at a cell phone or computer screen, or spending time in a windy or dry environment.

Four factors that irritate dry eyes

Now that you know a bit about why your eyes might be dry, you may want to know how to avoid some of the biggest factors that can trigger dry eye symptoms. You can minimize your risks if you avoid the following four factors, or make allowances for them: 

1. Excess screen time

Staring at screens all day isn’t good for your eyes. It doesn’t help to just change the type of screen, such as switching from a computer to your phone or even the TV; in excess, all screens are harmful to your eyes.

It’s not realistic to suggest you avoid screens altogether, especially when they’re such a major part of modern life. Just take occasional breaks from looking at screens. Try taking a walk or reading a book. 

2. A dry environment

It’s not always possible to control your environment, but there are certain environmental conditions that are much worse for dry eyes. These include:

Wearing sunglasses can shield your eyes in outdoor environments, and staying away from blowing air vents can help when you’re indoors.  

3. Wearing contact lenses

Wearing contact lenses is something that many people — especially those over the age of 50 — may want to start avoiding. The vanity of not wearing glasses loses out when you consider the discomfort of wearing contacts (especially because there are so many fashionable frames).

Something in the natural aging process, which causes your eyes to produce significantly fewer tears, can make contact lens wear feel drying, irritating, and generally uncomfortable.

4. Not eating a healthy enough diet

Every aspect of your health is linked to the quality of your diet. That’s not to say you can’t ever pick up a quick lunch from a restaurant or eat a dish of ice cream, but most of what you put on your plate should be healthy.

You’ll especially want to make sure that you’re consuming plenty of foods with vision-friendly vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in vitamin A include liver, carrots, and broccoli. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, walnuts, and vegetable oils.

You don’t have to live with dry eyes

If you’re still having frequent trouble with dry eyes despite your best efforts, Dr. Garrana and our team at Advanced Lasik can help. 

Give us a call today, or request an appointment online any time. We have one East Coast office in Manhattan, New York City, and two West Coast offices in Pasadena and Long Beach, California.

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