According to the American Association of Ophthalmology, approximately 3.2 million women and 1.7 million men over the age of 50 suffer from chronic dry eyes. So, it's time to react. Experts suggest that use of lubricating ointment and fish oil supplements can help in curing the condition.
The surface of eye is always covered with a thin layer of liquid known as the tear film, essential for health of eye.
Sanjay Dhawan, director, Ophthalmology, at Fortis Hospital, says that chilly winds of winter season affect the eyes, causing dry eye syndrome because of cold, dry outdoor air and dry indoor heat.
People above 50 years are at higher risk of dry eye condition. It commonly occurs among men of 50-plus age and women above 55-60. If menopause occurs at early age, than the chances of developing dry eye syndrome during winter weather gets increased even among middle-aged women, reads a statement.
It is necessary to prevent and manage dry eyes. Some of the steps that one should practise are:
* Patients should wear sunglasses to protect eyes from cold wind and excess light.
* Artificial tears also known as tear substitutes should be applied at least four times a day. It may be used as often as necessary - only once or twice a day, or as often as several times an hour.
* If the condition aggravates, use lubricating ointment at bedtime.
* Run a humidifier to put moisture back into the air.
* Lay a warm, damp washcloth across your eyelids for a couple minutes.
* Add more Omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil supplements to your diet.
* Keep the home environment humid, between 30 and 50 percent. During winter, a humidifier may be used to add moisture to dry indoor air. Additional humidity can be created by wearing special glasses that form a moisture chamber around the eye.
* Drink extra fluids and use a hot- or cold-air humidifier.
* Eat plenty of fish and foods with vitamin A, C, E and Omega-3 fatty acids.
* Drink lots of water and get plenty of rest.
* Green tea and chrysanthemum tea are beneficial for eyes and prevent eyes fatigue.
* Turn down the heat at homes which dries out the eyes. Use a humidifier.