Dry eye usually isn’t dangerous, but anyone with this chronic condition understands how uncomfortable it can be. That’s because when you have dry eye, you lack proper lubrication in your eyes, which causes symptoms like:
- Burning or itching
- Sensitivity to light
- Watery or redness
- Mucus in or around your eyes
- Feeling like something is in your eye
Seasonal changes can also make dry eye symptoms worse, especially during the hot summer months when exposure to eye irritants — like allergens, sunshine, sweating, sunscreen, and smoke — increases.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage dry eye that can reduce your symptoms and increase your eye comfort, even during summertime. Our Pacific Eye specialists offer numerous dry eye treatments at several convenient California locations, including Lompoc, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Paso Robles, and Pismo Beach You can also find us at Optical Concepts in Santa Maria.
Wear eye protection
The sun’s rays are damaging to eyes, so it’s essential to wear sunglasses all year long. But, when you have dry eye, exposure to the summer sun and wind can also dry your eyes out faster and exacerbate your symptoms. Before you head outside this summer, make sure to put on UVA sunglasses to protect your eyes from the elements. And, when it’s time to take a swim, don’t forget to wear goggles to avoid exposure to irritants in water, like salt and chlorine.
Drink plenty of water
Not only is drinking water good for your body, it’s good for your eyes, too! Staying properly hydrated plays a role in the quality and quantity of your tears, so it’s essential to drink plenty of water if you have chronic dry eye. When the temps rise during the summer months, be sure to drink more water to replace what you lose sweating, especially when spending time in the heat.
Eat more omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids help produce tears. These unique nutrients naturally occur in foods, such as:
- Flaxseed, soybean, palm, and fish oils
- Fatty fish, like tuna and salmon
- Chia seeds
You can also increase the omega-3 fatty acids in your diet by taking vitamin supplements.
Use artificial tears
Don’t wait until your symptoms hit to start using eye lubricants. But, there’s a wide range of artificial tear products to choose from — including liquid drops, gels, and ointments — so, it’s important to select the right option for your specific condition. We can recommend both prescription and nonprescription artificial tear products to help manage your dry eye symptoms safely and effectively, even during the summer.
Rest your eyes
Summertime can be tiring for your eyes, whether you’re hitting the beach, getting caught up on your reading, or binging on your favorite TV shows. Even if you’re relaxing, these types of activities can cause your eyes to dry out faster than usual, so it’s crucial to take plenty of breaks to rest your eyes. Try closing them for short periods of time, gently massaging them to stimulate oil glands in your eyelids, or applying a warm compress to help them regain lubrication.
For more tips on managing chronic dry eye during summer, call us at Pacific Eye or schedule an appointment online today.