Northern Nevada is a beautiful place to live, work and play. However, the harsh Northern Nevada climate with its low humidity, pollens and drying desert winds can challenge even the most normal eyes to maintain levels of tears that are sufficient for maximum eye health.
Studies show that nearly 20% of North Americans, middle aged and older, suffer from dry eye disease, causing symptoms such as blurry vision, irritated eyes and sometimes even watery eyes as a protective mechanism.
There are two primary and distinct forms of dry eye syndrome. Evaporative, by far the most common form, arises from the inability of the glands in the lids to secrete the oil layer that floats on top of the tear film to prevent its evaporation. Production Deficiency is the inability to produce the liquid layers of the tears that prescription eye drops target.
The tear film is a wonderfully designed protective mechanism that is complexly created to protect, nourish and help maintain eye health. With dryness comes inflammation, which damages the tissues that are critical to tear production. Their inability to work efficiently then continues the vicious cycle of dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome has recently been classified as a progressive disease of the eye, causing us to take its early management seriously.
The good news is that we can take control:
- Wear protective eyewear to reduce the damage form UV rays when outside, and from blue light emitted from computers and electronic devices.
- Daily removal of makeup to prevent blockage of the glands that secrets the oil layer of the tear filmWarm compresses and lid massages have proven helpful.
- Use high quality non-preserved artificial tears to enhance the tear film. Add gels and ointments at night. Oasis Tears are the author’s choice.
- Take Omega and flax oil capsules orally.
- Be aware of fans, open car windows, exposure to toxins, chemicals and allergens in your environment.
- Check side effects of certain medications. Most notable are diuretics, antidepressants and anti-histamines.
- During computer use and near work, take frequent breaks. The 20/20 rule is: Stop every 20 minutes and look at a distant target for 20 seconds.
For more information on eye care please visit us and consult your eye doctor to individualize an eye wellness plan specifically for you.