simple steps to help prevent and treat dry eyes

Source: American Optometric Association (AOA)

Below are some simple steps to help prevent and treat dry eyes:
-- avoid rubbing your eyes. You can irritate your eyes further by rubbing them.
-- avoid air blowing in your eyes. Do not direct hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners or fans toward your eyes.
-- wear glasses on windy days and goggles while swimming. The wraparound style of glasses may help reduce the effects of the wind.
-- take preventive steps. Use eyedrops before, rather than after, your eyes become irritated as a result of visually demanding activities. Try to avoid activities that might worsen the problem.
-- keep your home humidity between 30 percent and 50 percent. In winter, a humidifier can add moisture to dry indoor air. Some people use specially designed glasses that form a moisture chamber around the eyes, creating additional humidity.
-- remember to blink. Consciously blinking repeatedly helps spread your own tears more evenly. When performing tasks that require intense visual concentration, take occasional breaks - adding up to about five minutes each hour - and rest your eyes by closing your lids for several seconds. Follow this by consciously increasing your blink rate. Be especially careful to follow these suggestions if you have had LASIK or a similar procedure.

There is no cure for dry eye syndrome (DES). The primary goal in managing DES is to replenish or preserve the tear film. Treatment of dry eyes is aimed at restoring a more normal tear film to minimize dryness and its consequences, including blurred vision and discomfort. Patients should be educated about simple measures such as using sunglasses and room humidifiers and avoiding dry environments before turning to medicinal approaches.