Are your eyes frequently dry, itchy, or irritated? Are you struggling with light sensitivity? These are common symptoms of dry eye syndrome, a condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Dry eye can happen for different reasons, like getting older, hormonal changes, allergies, or taking certain medicines. If left untreated, dry eye can lead to more serious problems like corneal damage, infections, and vision loss.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage dry eye and minimize its impact on your daily life. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips for dealing with dry eye and sensitivity to light.
1. Take breaks from screens
If you spend most of your day working on a computer or device, it’s important to take breaks for your eyes. This allows your eyes to rest and prevents dry eye symptoms from getting worse. Try following the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something 20 feet away.
2. Adjust your environment
Making changes to your environment can help you deal with light sensitivity. First, try dimming the brightness of your electronic screens. You can also use shades and curtains to control the amount of light coming in from outside.
3. Keep your eyes clean
Before going to sleep, make sure to clean your eyelids and eyelashes with a gentle cleanser or pre-packaged eyelid wipe. This helps get rid of any dirt, grime, or bacteria that could potentially lead to dryness or irritation. At our clinic, we have Blephadex® wipes that are specifically designed to manage blepharitis, which is a common cause of dry eyes. These wipes help clean your eyelids and lashes, reducing inflammation and improving the overall health of your eyes.
4. Try heat therapy
Heat therapy is another great way to manage dry eye symptoms. Applying warm compresses or using a heated eye mask can help with blood circulation and increase the production of natural oils in your tears. This helps reduce inflammation, stimulate tear flow, and relieve discomfort. At Newport Eye Care, we have Bruder heated masks that are safe, easy to use, and an effective treatment for dry eye.
5. Consider more advanced treatments
If you’re struggling with severe or chronic dry eye symptoms, you may need more advanced treatment. One option is punctal plugs, which are tiny devices that get inserted into your tear ducts to help keep moisture in and block drainage. Your eye doctor may also suggest prescription eye drops, omega-3 supplements, or Prokera amniotic membranes. These membranes have natural healing properties that can help reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair. Our optometrist can recommend the best treatment plan for you based on your specific needs and symptoms.
Dealing with dry eye and sensitivity to light can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to affect your daily life. By following these tips and consulting your eye doctor, you can manage your symptoms and find long-lasting relief. Our eye doctors in Newport and Waterville, Maine offer a range of treatments for dry eye, including heat therapy, prescription eye drops, omega-3 supplements, and more. Contact us today to schedule your eye exam and learn how we can help you see clearly and comfortably.