Do you see clearly now? Protect your good vision!

Do you see clearly now? Protect your good vision!
Photo by Amanda Dalbjörn / Unsplash

For great vision, the surface of the eye needs to be perfectly clear. When you have your car detailed and the inside of the windows are cleaned, you can see so much more clearly and likely didn’t know how foggy the window became. When your eyes are dry, even without discomfort, there can be a similar effect on vision.

Since most of us instill drops or manage dry eye when our eyes hurt, that is too late.  We are reactive to dryness.  Your eyes are already dehydrated.  When you wait until your lips are cracked or your tongue is dry on the roof of your mouth, you are already dehydrated and should have had more water.

We are surrounded by many causes of dry eye. Any device use, computers, cellphones, tablets, television all cause us to inhibit our blink by at least 50% increasing dry eye.  We live in cold environments, we use overhead fans and heat blows air in the cars.  We don’t always drink the water we should.  We are living longer and 60% of our tears are gone by age 60.   All these concerns increase dry eye.

How do we prevent dry eye?

There are 2 main parts to a good tear film.  A watery layer made by the lacrimal glands and an oily layer to help stabilize and prevent evaporation of the water layer made by the meibomian glands.  These glands are along the upper and lower eyelids.  Preventing dry eye can involve adding to or increasing  the water layer with drops and or ointments. Ensuring the glands are clear and treating the eyelids is equally as important.

What drops should we use?

Many lubricating drops are available but not all drops are created equal.  Eye whiteners should be avoided.  Eye drops with hyaluronate ensure longer effectiveness.  Investing in better drops will create more effectiveness and require less frequent instillation.

How do we treat the eyelids and glands?

Clearing the glands and reducing inflammation along the eyelids is key.  Wet moist heat delivered for 5 minutes along the lids helps to heat and clear the glands. There are specialized masks that achieve this.   Eyelid wipes that have very diluted tea tree oil always help reduce inflammation.  Ingesting 2000mgs per day of a pure omega3 with EPA and DHA only helps open the glands and reduce dry eye. More advanced treatments with in clinic washes and Intense Pulse laser(IPL) or red light treatments(LLLT) are now available.  A dry eye assessment by your optometrist is a great start.

Do you have symptoms of dry eyes?

  • Stinging or burning eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Redness
  • Light sensitivity
  • Gritty feeling
  • Fluctuating vision
  • Stringy mucus in the eyes

Be proactive not reactive with dryness to ensure clear vision.  

Just like you get up and brush your teeth, put in your drops, take your omegas and protect your vision!


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