Summer bright days and warm temperatures are here, but this season often arrives with a few challenges for those with dry eye. Dry eye is a common eye condition that affects millions of people in the United States every year. It occurs when there is an issue with tear film production – the eyes either don’t produce enough, it drains too quickly, or it lacks the lubricating oil.
Many people who experience dry eye often find that their symptoms get worse during the summer months. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help keep your eyes more comfortable during this season of the year.
Ultraviolet rays from the sun can damage the eyes themselves and the skin around the eyes, worsening dry eye symptoms. Those that don’t wear adequate eye protection, like sunglasses, are more likely to develop problems such as cataracts and macular degeneration, putting their long-term vision at risk.
In addition to UV-blocking sunglasses, you may consider wearing a hat or visor when out in the sun. It will help block UV light from getting in and around your sunglasses.
If you are planning on spending time in the pool or ocean this summer, it’s a good idea to pack some swimming goggles. Chlorine, salt, and sand can all cause eye irritation and worsen dry eye symptoms.
Staying hydrated should be a priority in the summer, but many people don’t realize that drinking enough water is also important for eye health. Becoming dehydrated can make your eyes drier too. Aim to drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily for optimal hydration.
You may have heard of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in oily fish like mackerel, nuts, and seeds. Omega-3 can be very beneficial for eye health, and in particular, preventing dry eye. However, it’s hard to get enough of it through diet alone, so you may consider adding some supplements to your daily routine to give your eye health a boost.
If the tips above do not provide enough relief from any dry eye symptoms, it’s time to speak to your optometrist for help. They understand the best techniques and treatments to make your dry eye condition more comfortable. There are a variety of different options, from medicated eyedrops that target swelling and inflammation, to warm compresses and thermal pulsation technology to break down hardened tear oil deposits. Your optometrist will find the best personalized treatment to alleviate symptoms.
For more chronic dry eye summertime tips, visit Long View Eye Center at our office in Lewisburg, West Virginia. Call us at 304-520-3630 today to schedule an appointment.