Skip to Main Content
Google Plus Logo
Home Nursing Services
At Home Therapies
Home Care FAQ
Bereavement & Grief
Hospice & Alzheimers
Hospice Pet Therapy
Special Care Programs
Your Care Team
Specialized Home Care
Patient-Centered Dementia Care
Congestive Heart Failure
Hypertension / Blood Pressure
Coronary Artery Disease
Mental Health and Depression
Home Care Support for Multiple Sclerosis
Paraplegia and Quadriplegia
Traumatic Brain Injury
COVID-19 Vaccination Staffing
Our Standard of Care
Caring Brands International
Aging in Place
Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Health Aide
8 Dietary Tips for Improving Senior Heart Health
Talking About Substance Abuse as a Caregiver
How to Take Care of Aging Hair
4 Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality for Seniors
Designing Outdoor Living Areas for Seniors
Getting A Grip: How and Where to Install Bathroom Grab Bars
Keeping Active: Tips for Senior Gardening
Alzheimer's and Dementia
Calculating the Cost
Certified Senior Advisors
Consumer Health Care Education
Advisor Care Giving Guide
Care in a Residential Facility
Check Your Home Care IQ
Elder Care Communities
Medicare and Home Care
Senior Care Resources
Senior Care Scams
Signs That Care At Home is Needed
Long Term Care
Mobility in Seniors
Home Safety Checklist
Home Safety Tips
Medications and Fall Risk
Reduce the Risk of Falling
Risk of Falling
Visiting the Doctor and Discussing Falls
What to Do If Someone Falls
Elder Care Videos
Hiring Your Own Caregivers
Family Care Giving Facts
Information for Seniors
Long Distance Caregiving
Starting the Conversation
The Stress of Family Caregiving
Taking Care Of Yourself as a Family Caregiver
Home Care Technology
Hospice Fact or Myth
Exercise and Older Adults
Tips for Lowering Blood Pressure
Seniors and Zika Virus
Stories From Home
Transitioning from a Facility
Independent Living Assessment
How to Fight Dry Eyes and Protect Your Vision
How to Fight Dry Eyes and Protect Your Vision
Posted: 6/22/2017 10:12 AM by
Dear Savvy Senior
What all can be done to combat dry eyes? Since I turned 50, my eyes have become increasingly dry and irritated.
Dry eyes are a common problem that affects more than one-third of middle-aged and older Americans. But you don’t have to just put up with it. There are lifestyle adjustments and multiple treatment options available today to keep your eyes moist and healthy. Here’s what you should know.
Dry Eye Issues
Dry, red, irritated eyes are one of the most common reasons for visits to the eye doctor, but discomfort isn’t the only problem of dry eyes. Light sensitivity and blurred or fluctuating vision are common problems too, and worse yet, dry eyes are more likely to get scratched or infected, which could damage your vision permanently.
The reason people get dry eyes are because they either don’t produce enough tears to keep their eyes properly lubricated, or because they produce poor quality tears.
In some cases dry eyes can be triggered by medical conditions such as diabetes, thyroid diseases, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and Sjogren’s syndrome. It can also be brought on by age (tear production tends to diminish as we get older), eye conditions, eyelid problems, certain medications, environmental factors and even LASIK and cataract surgery. Dry eyes are also more common in women, especially after menopause.
The first step experts recommend in dealing with dry eyes is to check your lifestyle and surroundings for factors that might be contributing to the problem and make adjustments:
Avoid blowing air:
Keep your eyes away from air vents, hair dryers, oscillating and ceiling fans and consider buying a home humidifier.
When you’re reading, watching television, or using a smartphone, tablet or computer, take frequent breaks because these activities cause you blink less often.
Avoid smoke-filled places and if you swim, wear goggles to cut down exposure to chemicals.
Use protection outside:
When you go outdoors, use sunglasses that wrap around the sides of your face to protect yourself from sun, glare, wind, and dust.
Check your meds:
Dozens of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs like antihistamines, decongestants, diuretics, beta-blockers, antidepressants, tranquilizers, and Parkinson’s medications can all cause dry eyes. If you’re taking any of these, ask your doctor about alternatives.
Get more omega-3s:
Studies show that eating more fish and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (or take a supplement) helps some people.
If adjusting your environment and habits doesn’t do the trick, there are a variety of OTC artificial tears that can help. If you experience a lot of burning, try another product or opt for a preservative-free formula. If your dry-eye is persistent, use gel-containing drops like Refresh, Systane and GenTeal. The gel will keep your eyes lubricated for longer periods. If you need a product that’s even longer lasting, consider OTC lubricating ointments like Refresh PM.
If the lifestyle and OTC treatments don’t help, see an ophthalmologist. He or she can offer additional advice and may prescribe a medication. There are several FDA approved medications for dry eye including Xiidra and Restasis, and one in development called Lacripep.
If your dry eye is severe and does not improve, you doctor might recommend a simple office procedure that plugs the small openings (tear ducts) that drain tears away from the eyes. Blocking these openings with punctual plugs keeps tears in place longer.
Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit
. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC
show and author of
“The Savvy Senior”