For many people that suffer from dry eyes, regular use of lubricants will suffice. Though in winter or on particularly windy days they may need to use a lubricant that is more viscous so that it will last in their eyes for a longer period of time. Such as a gel or ointment. The benefit of these types of lubricants involves the fact that you do not need to instill them as frequently as normal lubricants. The problem with using the gels or ointments regularly involves an increased period of time before you can see and possibly gunk getting stuck in your eyelashes. Basically leaving you more debris to clean from your lashes.
So if you want to go down the lubricants route which tends to be the first port of call with respect to dry eye treatment. You might be wondering how do you choose which lubricant to start with? I recommend using the unpreserved lubricants as dry eye is a chronic condition and you will most probably be using lubricants for an extended period of time. So why add more chemicals into the system than is necessary? I personally love the Systane family of eye drops. Systane Ultra is available in unreserved vials now.
What can you do to boost your tears internally? Eating a diet that contains linseeds and fish high in omegas is also a good way of getting those valuable omega 3’s into your body. If your current diet doesn’t contain these oils then you may wish to look at taking supplements. As there are supplements designed specifically for this purpose.
One of the most important things people with dry eyes can do is find out the cause of their dry eyes. Is it a lack of oil? Is it a lack of aqueous (water that makes up the main volume of the tears)? Are their ducts infected or not functioning properly. Is there an inflammatory problem? Our tears are made up of many different components that it is important to know where your problem exists, so you can have the most effective treatment available. It may be that your dry eye problem is multifaceted. Such as a lack of aqueous (the water component of tears) and meibomian gland dysfunction or blepharitis as well. These are just a few of the conditions that can contribute to suffering from dry eyes.
For those of you that have meibomian gland dysfunction that leads to a lack of oil in your tears then you need to find a practice that has a Blephasteam and does lid expression. That coupled with manuka honey eye drops and there are some that are made in Australia called Optimel I personally love the gel as it is 98% honey. Just a quick warning this stuff does sting (but only for about 30 seconds. There are practices around offering IPL for eyelids or even lipiflow – these do work for some people but tend to be fairly expensive.
If all else fails and you are still having trouble on the windy days then you might want to think about purchasing a pair of positively sealed safety glasses. As they provide a physical barrier against air hitting your eyes and drying them further. If you wish to give this a try then you should give the Bolle Rush Plus seal a go – they are available in clear or tinted grey lenses. For a prescription option, the Matador Mojo is popular but there are many more positively sealed options available.