Foods rich in healthy fats such as nuts like walnuts, almonds, and brazil nuts or healthy oils such as olive, canola, and avocado oils have higher levels of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. These oil sources help maintain a healthy balance of fat in our oil-producing glands in the skin and eyelids. These food sources also contain other antioxidants that are generally healthy for your eyes. Flaxseed oil is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids and can particularly help with eyelid inflammation and Meibomian gland clogging.
While outside it’s a good idea to protect yourself from wind by wearing sunglasses that are a little larger and can wrap around or conform to your face. If you have moderate to severe dry eye, its generally inadvisable to spend much time outside on very windy days, as the wind will rapidly evaporate your tears. Likewise, we recommend that you avoid sitting under or near ceiling fans or air conditioning vents when reading, watching television or working on a computer. Studies have shown over a 90% drop in our blinking rate while doing these activities and any airflow over the eyes will accelerate the drying effect.
Swimming in a pool without goggles or rinsing your eyes with tap water can also worsen your dry eye. Chlorine can damage the normal mucins in your tear film destabilizing your tears and making your symptoms worse. Only use balanced saline artificial tears to lubricate your eyes.
Be careful with “natural” or homeopathic remedies for treating dry eye disease. While some of these may work it is also possible that you could be doing harm to your eyes. Do not use citric acid from lemon, limes or other citrus fruits for eye problems such as dry eye. Over time the acidic pH can damage your eyes. If at any time you’re unsure about what to do, ask us. We’re here to help!