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Dry Eye Syndrome: What Can You Do About Your Condition?

An Asian Experiencing Discomfort In Their Eyes

Dry Eye Syndrome: What Can You Do About Your Condition?

Your eyes require moisture to stay healthy and comfortable. When you blink, you are actually squeezing your eye glands to produce nourishing tears to lubricate your eyes. However, if these tears are inadequate or unstable for various reasons, you may start experiencing discomfort in the eyes, otherwise known as dry eyes. If it worsens, it can even affect your vision.

The good news is that dry eye syndrome is a common condition – in fact, it affects numerous Singaporeans yearly – and there are various ways for you to remedy this issue to ensure your eyes remain healthy and comfortable. However, you must first know its causes and triggers to understand how to treat dry eyes.

What causes dry eye syndrome?

Your tears are a complex mixture of three fundamental layers – oil, water, and mucus. This mixture keeps your eye surfaces smooth and clear, safeguarding them from infection. Any imbalance in this composition or the lack of adequate tears to keep your eyes comfortably lubricated can cause dry eye syndrome.

Factors that can affect the production and composition of this mixture include:

  • Age;
  • Environmental factors, such as the presence of smoke, wind, or a dry climate;
  • Lifestyle habits, such as wearing your contacts for too long or staring at a computer screen for a period of time;
  • Medical conditions, including allergic eye disease, blocked tear ducts, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Learn More: Blocked Tear Ducts: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments

What are the symptoms of dry eye syndrome?

You may have dry eye syndrome if you experience:

  • Redness, irritation, or light sensitivity of the eye;
  • A burning or stinging sensation in the eyes;
  • Heaviness or tiredness of the eyelid;
  • Transient blurring of vision.

If you regularly encounter any of these symptoms, please seek eye treatment immediately. Many patients are unaware of their condition until they consult an eye specialist. An eye doctor can assess your tear stability and amount of tear production to determine if you have dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye prevention tips

While dry eye syndrome and its symptoms can be challenging to manage due to its various causes, you can minimise your risk by keeping these tips in mind.

Tip #1: Avoid air blowing in your eyes

Two Woman Enjoying Electricfan

We have all been guilty of using a hair dryer to dry our hair rapidly or standing in front of an electric fan on a hot day to cool ourselves. However, exposing your eyes to air currents can disrupt the delicate moisture balance of your eyes, causing them to dry out quickly. So, avoid directing airflow towards your eyes to prevent unnecessary eye irritation.

Tip #2: Add moisture to the surrounding air

An Air Humidifier Being Featured In A Living Room

Is your living space constantly warm and dry? A poor indoor environment can lead to a host of discomfort, including dry eyes. To counteract this, consider installing a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air. This device is not only effective for preventing dry skin. It can also enhance your overall comfort by safeguarding your eyes from the irritation and strain associated with dry conditions.

Tip #3: Wear protective eyewear

An Asian Person Wearing Sunglasses

When stepping out on a dry or windy day, shield your eyes from the harsh elements. Environmental factors, like windy conditions, can strip away the natural moisture from your eyes, leaving them dry, irritated, and vulnerable. To combat this, you can consider wearing wraparound sunglasses or protective eyewear to prevent triggering your dry eye syndrome.

Tip #4: Take regular eye breaks

An Asian Person Taking A Break From Work

There is a reason why eye doctors recommend taking periodic breaks from tasks that require visual concentration, like reading or staring at a screen, as they can strain your eyes, increasing the risk of dry eyes. You may find that closing your eyes for a few minutes or blinking repeatedly for a few seconds can help ease any discomfort in your eyes.

Tip #5:  Lubricate your eyes with eye drops

An Asian Person Applying Eye Drop On Their Eye

If you have chronic dry eyes, consider applying eye drops regularly to manage symptoms and prevent flare-ups before they occur. Even when your eyes feel fine, lubricating them can ensure they stay well-nourished and hydrated, promoting overall eye health and comfort.

While dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition without a permanent solution, various eye treatments are available to help manage your symptoms. Consult an eye doctor to discuss your options and learn what works best for you. By actively managing your condition, you are taking a proactive step to restore your quality of life.

At Nova Eye Centre, we provide a full suite of eye care solutions to our patients. If you are experiencing persistent dry eye, our eye doctor can conduct a comprehensive assessment of your eyes to identify the underlying cause of your condition. Contact our eye clinic to schedule an appointment with us today.

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