One of the most common complaints I hear is related to patients having dry eyes. Their eyes burn, they are red, or they want to rip their contacts out at the end of the day. Does this sound like you? If it does, did you go to the local drug store and buy a drop that says it will get the red out, or did you just buy the least expensive store brand you could find? Sounds familiar, right? Spoiler alert, you probably did not get much relief and you are still dealing with the same symptoms. Let me show you a better way for treating dry eye.
Step 1: Omega-3
Believe it or not, your dry eye symptoms can be related to your diet. We should have a 4:1 ratio of Omega-6 fatty acids to Omega-3 fatty acids. The average American diet is more like 12-16:1. This will result in an increase in inflammation in your entire body, specifically your eyelids. This causes them to not produce their portion of the tear film and your eyes become dry.
This is where an Omega-3 supplement that has 2000-3000 mg of EPA and DHA can help. It reduces inflammation and helps your eyelids produce better, more stable tears. Make sure it has the correct amount of EPA and DHA. We recommend the PRN DE3 supplement and carry it in our office.
Step 2: Cleaning your lids and lashes
After we address the inflammation in our entire body and start making the oil layer of our tear film, we need to address eyelid hygiene. Our eyelids accumulate debris and can become inflamed as a result of our day to day activities such as staring at a screen, sweating, or an accumulation of makeup over time.
We recommend a tea tree foam cleanser that is specially formulated for the eye to be used when taking off makeup or in the shower if you prefer. Either way, the tea tree is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. This will also reduce inflammation and open up the eyelid tear glands.
Step 3: Heat Mask – Warm Compress
The last step of the 3 step process is a warm compress or a heat mask to help the glands express. Often as a result of our diets or the glands being clogged, the oil layer inside the glands becomes thickened and unable to express. By applying a consistent heat to your eyelid margin, the thickened oil will return back to a liquid consistency, flow onto your eye, and stabilize your tear film. We recommend the Tear Restore mask, Tranquileyes XL mask, or a D.E.R.M mask. Consistency is the most important aspect so I encourage patients to do this 4 days a week.
There you have it, a simple 3 step method for treating dry eye that will help relieve your symptoms. Start here, but if you are not seeing the results you want or need a more in depth treatment, call our office and schedule a dry eye evaluation. We can customize therapies for your specific needs.