Treating and Preventing Dry Eye

Our eyes can dry out for many reasons. Sometimes it just happens as a result of aging or weather conditions. It may be caused by a reaction to certain types of indoor heating, or it could be a side effect of medication. Or it can happen if you don’t blink enough.

Our eyes can dry out for many reasons, including:

  • Not blinking enough
  • Weather conditions
  • Certain types of indoor heating
  • Side effects of medication
  • Aging

To help avoid dry eye, I recommend the following:

  • Stay hydrated. Always drink lots of water. It’s good for you in all kinds of ways.
  • Fish oils, either in the form of supplements or in oily fish like salmon and tuna and halibut, contain essential omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids that nourish the eyes and help keep them healthy.
  • Flax seed oil and hemp seed oil also contain essential omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids.
  • Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from glare and dust, particularly in dry hot weather.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Not sleeping enough can make your eyes dry out more easily.
  • If you live in a dusty environment, consider buying an air cleaner or humidifier for your home.

Treating Dry Eye

The following remedies can work for dry eye:

  • Artificial tear drops, sold over the counter
  • Cold compresses over the eye
  • Lacrisert©, a tiny ophthalmic insert that you place in the pocket of your lower eyelid, which releases lubrication throughout the day. (Lacrisert is only available by prescription.)
  • Restasis© eye drops, which increase tear production and reduce swelling in the eye. (Restasis is only available by prescription.)

NOTE: If you’re buying over-the-counter eye drops for dry eyes do NOT buy the type that advertise “getting the red out.” They’ll just constrict your blood vessels, but they won’t help your dry eye.