Learning About Using And Caring For Your Contact Lenses

Three Lifestyle Changes That May Help With Chronic Dry Eye

If your eyes are chronically dry after having eye surgery or because of a condition like Sjogren's syndrome, then your eye doctor may use treatments like punctual plugs and prescription medications to increase tear production and keep your eyes more moist. However, if these treatments alone are not moistening your eyes to an acceptable degree, you may want to consider also making a few lifestyle changes that can help combat eye dryness.

Spend less time behind a screen.

Blinking helps distribute your tears across your eyes. When you're starting at a computer or a phone screen, you tend not to blink as often, so your eyes become drier. If you're already struggling with dry eye, this can make matters a lot worse. So, try to limit your screen time. If there are tasks, such as planning your day or making a checklist, that you can do on paper instead of on an electronic device, do so. Take a break from your computer every 30 minutes or so, and when you are behind a screen, remind yourself to blink. Adopt forms of entertainment other than playing games on your phone and texting so that less of your downtime is spent behind a screen.

Eat more foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids help keep tissues supple and lubricated, and this includes your eyeballs. Try incorporating more foods that are rich in omega-3s into your daily diet. Good foods to try include the following:

  • Fish, especially large, coldwater fish lime salmon and tuna
  • Flax seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Chia seeds
  • Spinach and other leafy greens

If you can't stand any of these foods, you may want to consider taking an omega-3 supplement, such as fish oil or flax seed oil, instead.

Address your allergies.

If you have mild allergies, you may ignore them rather than take allergy medications to keep them under control. But even if the sneezing and itching aren't too bad, allergies to pet dander, mold, and pollen can make eye dryness worse. Do a better job of addressing your allergies by:

  • Keeping your doors and windows shut so allergens don't blow inside
  • Having your carpet cleaned regularly to remove allergens
  • Taking an antihistamine when you do notice allergy symptoms

If your eyes are still dry after making these changes, speak with your eye doctor. He or she should be able to make additional recommendations to help keep your eyes more moist.