It is no secret that Alberta has a very dusty and dry climate – especially when it comes to winters. Dry eye is a common symptom in Alberta’s climate. Here are a few pointers to help ease the pain of dry eye in our dry and dusty climate:
Artificial tears, taken as eye drops, will bring with instant relief of the pain that can come from having dry eyes. As the name suggests, they will give your eyes that instant lubrication that is needed to keep the eye moist.
If over the counter artificial tears aren’t doing the job, we may prescribe medicated drops that reduce the inflammation related to dry eyes.
Protect your eyes from poor air quality. The simple act of putting on sunglasses can help with the dust, and even the harshness of the wind.
Adding a humidifier to your home can help as well. A humidifier will help substantially, particularly in winter, as it will keep the air humid. You can compliment your humidifier by beefing up your home’s air filter system- you can add more restrictive filters, or purchase portable air purifiers.
Sometimes a person’s eye duct can just become clogged. A simple way to correct this is to put a warm cloth compress right on the eye to open up the duct. This will promote the glands to open up and drain, restoring the working function of the tear duct.
This can be done at home, though severely blocked glands should be checked out by one of our Optometrists.
Sometimes changing your diet can help in the correction of dry eyes. Drinking more water and staying hydrated is a great way to make sure that your body is producing enough natural tears. Incorporating more healthy omega fats into your diet has also been linked to dry eye relief.
If dry eyes are persistent, and you cannot find any relief, there may be something more than just the climate that is causing your discomfort. There could be an underlying issue that is causing the discomfort, and our Optometrist may be the best way to figure out what is exactly going on with your eyes.
Dr. Lampard graduated from optometry at Pacific University in Oregon in 1981. He and his wife Lorraine have three grown children, all born and raised in Red Deer. Tom enjoys cycling, curling, cross country and downhill skiing, and golfing. He also keeps busy volunteering for the United Way, has been a chairman of the Alberta College of Optometrists, and director of the Alberta Association of Optometrists.More Articles by Tom Lampard