Environment and lifestyle can exaggerate or even cause Dry Eye in adults (and even children)! We have put together this list of 5 lifestyle changes to follow that can help in managing your Dry Eyes:
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
While Dry Eyes is not caused by dehydration in the body, dehydration can certainly make the symptoms a lot worse. In some cases, patients have reported that simply increasing their water intake to around 2-3 litres per day has helped improve their eye comfort. The main component of our tears is, unsurprisingly, water – which is why keeping your water levels up will help ensure your tear quality is good. The best thing to do is start the day with a tall glass of water (to replenish any water loss that occurred during sleep) and then take regular water breaks or sips throughout the day. Some believe that caffeine consumption (coffee, black and green tea and soft drinks) can further dehydrate your body. However, there is more recent evidence to suggest that caffeine may actually boost the number of tears! Since there is still a range of conflicting advice when it comes to caffeine, our advice is to see what works best for you – try two weeks with reduced caffeine intake and see if that makes a difference to you personally. In any case, a more tasty way to hydrate is to try incorporate herbal teas throughout the day, many of which are high in antioxidants (we love Rooibos, Chamomile and Peppermint) – great for all round eye health!.
2. Up your intake of Vitamins and Omega 3s
It’s important to talk to your doctor before incorporating new supplements into your routine or changing your diet! Consider talking to your doctor about the addition of a daily Omega 3 supplement or all-round antioxidant Vitamin supplement. As an alternative to supplements you can try incorporate these through your diet. Antioxidants fortify every aspect of your eye health from your tears right through to your retina. Try to 'eat the rainbow' everyday - and especially try incorporating: red peppers, blueberries, spinach/ leafy greens, purple grapes, beetroot, sweet potato and of course.. carrots! Also consider upping the Omega 3 fatty acids which are also key for overall eye health and performance; try eat one portion of fatty fish (salmon, mackerel) at least every 2 days and/ or a portion of flax seeds, chia seeds or walnuts.
3. Turn off the central heating or air conditioning
Central heating and air conditioning can create drier environments in doors and wick away your tears at a faster rate – meaning that your eyes get drier quicker. If you can, try sit further away from your heater or air conditioning unit or turn them off altogether. This is especially important when you’re doing activities that involve any kind of screen (computer, laptop, ipad, phone, kindle or otherwise) – during these activities you are already likely blinking less than usual – add to that a central heating or air conditioning and you have a harsh environment for your eyes! As an alternative, you could consider adding a humidifier (like our Peep Club Hydrating Portable Humidifier) nearby to help combat the effects of the heating or air conditioning.
This seems like a ridiculous recommendation! But believe it or not, you blink 6-8x less when looking at a screen or even when reading – any activity that involves prolonged concentration and near work can lead to a reduced blink rate. When doing these activities try follow the 20-20-20 rule which means that every 20 minutes, take a 20 second break to look 20 feet into the distance (this will also help stimulate your distance vision which can stave off eye strain). At Peep Club we often advise customers to follow the 20-20-20-20 rule, which is as above but with an added part: try take 20 slow blinks during the break to get those eyes nice and hydrated!
5. Rethink products that might be contributing to your dry eyes
We have another blog post about makeup to avoid for dry eyes. But the same goes for any products applied near your eyes – steer clear of fragranced products and loosed powders or sprays that may accidentally hit your eyes. The tear film is in a delicate balance at all times and anything that lands on your eyes (even if they’re shut) might destabilise this and contribute to your dry eye symptoms