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summer dry eye problem

Summer Dry Eyes

Don’t dry out this summer
Relief is available for sufferers of dry eye syndrome. Summer is almost here and while warmer days are welcomed by many, for others the hot weather brings with it dry eyes—a condition that can strike anyone.

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that can be exacerbated in summer; just like our bodies, our eyes (specifically, the cornea) can become dehydrated. It’s more prevalent than you might think—anyone can get it and ophthalmogist say it’s one of the most common conditions they see.

Women, especially after menopause, and people aged over 40 are more prone to the problem, which is caused by the eye’s inability to maintain a healthy layer of tears to coat it. Air-conditioned office buildings and high computer use can also aggravate the condition.

Symptoms and treatment
Ironically watering is very common. Others include a dry or gritty feeling in the eye, burning or itching, redness, hazy vision and sensitivity to light.

Although there is no way to prevent dry eye syndrome, there are plenty of ways to treat it.

“If the cause is a medication, talking to the doctor who prescribed it and asking if there is an alternative may help. If the cause is an underlying systemic disease then treating the disease might help.”

As a general aid, Kylie recommends nutritional supplements: “Supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids can decrease dry eye symptoms. Good sources of omega-3s include coldwater fish such as sardines, cod, herring and salmon. Flaxseed oil and nuts can also help to relieve dry eyes.”

Lubricating eye drops, gels and ointments can provide relief too, People with sensitive eyes should use single-dose lubricants, rather than the bottles. A hot compress over the eyes for a few minutes daily can also help.

Eye care
In summer, when climate conditions can trigger dry eye syndrome, there are extra tips to help soothe and restore the eyes. Try using a humidifier indoors and reducing air flow from fans and air conditioning. Drinking more water to avoid dehydration and wearing sunglasses to stop the wind drying out your eyes can also help.

For computer users, “Taking frequent breaks to allow your eyes to rest and become moist and comfortable again are helpful. Closing your eyes for 10 seconds every 5 to 10 minutes will increase your comfort, as will blinking more frequently.”

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