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Leading Causes of Dry Eyes

Leading Causes of Dry Eyes

Every year thousands of people suffer with dry eyes – did you know that eye dryness can be a symptom of your lifestyle?  Today we’re going to have a look at a few leading causes of dry eyes and how to avoid them.

Environmental

Leading Causes of Dry Eyes

One of the main causes of eye dryness may simply be related to where you are living, working, partaking in activities.  Because dust, dirt or airborne allergens can cause your eyes to be red, itchy, swollen and dry.  This is especially true for allergy sufferer since often times it’s the unseen contaminants that affect your eyes causing them to water excessively and in result drying out your eyes.  Another common environmental factor is the climate you’re living in if it’s an arid climate with low humidity you may find yourself dealing with dry eyes more frequently.  Even if you live in a humid environment you may still find yourself dealing with dry eyes on windy days.

Medication

Another common factor that can lead to dry eyes may be lurking in your medicine cabinet.  Did you know that it’s not an uncommon side effect of many over the counter as well as prescription medications to include eye dryness?  If you’re regularly taking prescription or over the counter medications and suffering from dryness of eyes take a closer look at your medicine cabinet or talk to your doctor.

Screen Time

In our day and age we’re surrounded by electronic screens, from our computers at work, in line at the grocery store, at home in front of our television to even while enjoying a book on our e-readers.  We’ve already written about how too much screen time can have an affect on your eyes, including causing your eyes to become dry.  If you’re certain screen time is causing your eyes to dry out don’t worry since that can usually be solved by taking breaks away from a screen.

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Does Reading Harm Your Eyes? A Closer Look

Does reading harm your eyes?

Does reading harm your eyes?

Bookworms and students alike have often be warned by parents, teachers, and various sources to, “Be careful- reading too much can harm your eyes!”  Does excessive reading harm your eyes and where does that warning come from?  For anyone in the academic world or to the lover of the world of books we’re going to have a look at those claims.   And the results may surprise you!

The Dry Spell

If you’ve ever spent hours pouring over a new book or studying material for an upcoming test you’ve probably experienced the following.  You look up from your book and begin blinking or rubbing your eyes.  Why?  Because they’re itchy, scratchy and uncomfortable.  This is no reason to be alarmed since your eyes typically dry out while you’re reading.  This happens because you tend to blink less while reading causing your eyes to dry out.  Dry eyes are nothing to be alarmed by as you can easily pick up an over the counter eye drop to help soothe occasional dry eyes.  If the problem persists and carries over beyond reading it’s advised that you consult with your doctor.

Too Tired

While dry eyes are a typical result of reading in excess another common side effect is a little harder to diagnose.  Have you ever set your book down because you couldn’t seem to focus on another word?  Has this been accompanied by a dull headache?  Chances are your eyes are too tired or are experiencing fatigue.  If you’ve ever begun a new physical activity like hiking, biking or swimming you’ve likely experienced fatigue in your muscles including soreness.  Just like other muscles, tendons and ligaments your eyes can become fatigued after too much work.  This typically can be remedied by rest.  For more on eye fatigue, reading in dim light have a look at what Richard Gans, MD, FACS, an ophthalmologist with the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute had to say in this article about reading in dim light.

Does Reading Harm Your Eyes? Read On, Book Lovers!

Bookworms and students can read in peace knowing that reading doesn’t harm your eyes.  The myth that it does is just that, a myth.  And the symptoms that are commonly claimed to be harming your eyes, like dryness and fatigue, can typically be remedied with no long term effects.  Just remember to keep your eyes well lubricated and give your eyes a break if you feel fatigue coming on.  Happy reading!

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Contacts vs Glasses: How to Choose the Best Option for You

Contacts vs Glasses - How to Decide

Contacts vs Glasses - How to Decide

There are many things to consider when you have vision problems. One of the decisions you must make is decide whether contacts or glasses are right for you. The debate of contacts vs glasses comes down to personal preference, and the eye problems you have. Here is a closer look at how to choose the best option for you.

Personal Preference that Impact Contacts vs Glasses

There are many different factors that play into whether or not you choose contacts or glasses. These include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Comfort
  • Convenience
  • Budget
  • Aesthetics
  • Lifestyle

Take a minute to consider: Are your eyes usually quite dry? Glasses might be a better option, because contacts can dry out your eyes. Do you play a lot of sports? Contacts might be the better option, as you don’t have to worry about your frames breaking or falling off during your activity. Keep in mind that one isn’t better than the other when it comes to contacts vs glasses. Write a list to determine the best option for you. Here are a few pros and cons of each that we have considered:

Pros of Glasses:

  • Can be a fashion statement.
  • Easy to clean.
  • You don’t have to touch your eyes!
  • Generally cheaper than contacts.
  • Can protect your eyes from foreign objects.

Cons of Glasses:

  • Can make it difficult to play sports.
  • Can be broken easily.
  • Sight can be obstructed by elements – fogging up glasses, etc.
  • Can distort peripheral vision.
  • Thickness can change the appearance of your eyes.

Pros of Contacts:

  • Easy – put them in in the morning, and take out at night.
  • Great for sports and outdoor activities.
  • Aren’t affected by environment.
  • Less vision distortion.
  • You can try out different eye colors!

Cons of Contacts:

  • Can exacerbate eye dryness and irritation.
  • You have to touch your eyes.
  • Require additional cleaning and care.
  • Can exacerbate computer vision problems.
  • Cost to replace can be higher.

As you can see, there are many pros and cons to both glasses and contacts. Again, it really does come down to personal preference. If you have questions about the right option for you, speak with your eye doctor!

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Dry Eye Remedies: Tips to Get Relief from Strain and Discomfort

Common Dry Eye Remedies

Common Dry Eye Remedies

We’ve all experienced it: Those moments when our eyes are so dry, it seems our lids can’t shut, or when the itchiness is unbearable. Many people deal with dry eye problems, so today we’re going to look at some dry eye remedies to provide relief from the strain that dry eyes can cause.

Ointments for Dry Eyes

There are many eye lubricating ointments that provide more long-term relief for dry eye problems. These ointments are used before bedtime, because they can blur vision.

Washing Eyelids

Another option to help with dry eyes is to wash your eyelids. This is done using a clean washcloth soaked in warm water, that is laid over the eyes for five minutes, along with gentle rubbing. A mild soap can be used on eyelids to increase the efficacy.

Eye Drops

One of the most common dry eye remedies is to apply eye drops to get relief. There are many different types of eye drops, however. It’s important to know which one is correct for you! Consider these options, and speak with your doctor about which one is best for you:

  • Preservative vs. Non-Preservative: Did you now that preservatives are added to some types of eye drops? This increases the shelf life, but means you can’t use them as often (usually up to 4 times a day), and they can cause irritation. Non-preservative eye drops come in packages with single-use vials, which is more trouble – but they can be used more often throughout the day for more severe cases.
  • Redness-Preventing Drops: Some eye drops for dry eyes also reduce redness – these can cause irritation over time. If you wish to use this kind, it is wise to speak with your doctor to determine if it is safe.

Dry Eye Remedies to Get Relief

We hope we have provided some helpful information about dry eye remedies you can try to get relief from the itchy sensation that plagues your day. Remember to consult with your eye doctor before beginning any treatment to ensure it is safe and effective for you!