In the age of digital devices, air-conditioned offices, and busy schedules that make healthy cooking a challenge, it’s no wonder that mild dry eye disease, also known as mild dry eye syndrome, is so common.

Over 16 million Americans have dry eye disease, a condition that affects increasingly more young people. Dry eye disease is often underdiagnosed, so this number may be even higher.

Common mild dry eye symptoms include a dry, scratchy, or burning sensation in your eyes, red eyes, and blurry vision. These symptoms can be nagging enough to reduce your productivity and get in the way of everyday life.

Today, we look at some of the most effective mild dry eye treatments for your eyes. But first, it’s important to remember what causes dry eyes.

Mild Dry Eye Causes: Overview

Mild dry eye causes range from wearing contact lenses to not getting enough vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids from your diet. Taking certain medications, having an autoimmune condition like Sjogren’s, or being over 50 years of age also increases your risk of developing the condition.

So does being female – blame it on hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause, using screens for extended periods, working in windy or air-conditioned environments, smoking, and drinking alcohol.

It’s also possible to experience mild dry eye in one eye only. This may happen if one of your eyes is exposed to wind or smoke, or if the tear gland over it doesn’t work as it should.

woman with bright green eye and dark hair hiding one eye and half of her face before green fan-like plant

Unlike more serious forms of the condition, mild dry eye disease is easier to treat. You may be able to prevent it by recognizing and avoiding certain triggers.

Like many people experiencing dry eye symptoms, you may be tempted to reach out for a bottle with over-the-counter eye drops or artificial tears. However, medical research shows that artificial tears are not always the answer.

Safe Mild Dry Eye Treatment Tips for Soothing Your Eyes

The good news is that there are several convenient mild dry eye treatment tips you can try at home. These tips may not address the underlying cause of the condition – if you’re experiencing constant dry eyes, it’s good to see an eye doctor.

That said, these at-home tips can provide quick relief and allow you to work on your computer and go through the day without the discomfort that dry eye disease can cause.

Whether you’ve just developed dry eyes or have been living with dry eye syndrome for a while now, these practical tips can provide relief.

1. Apply a Warm Compress Over Your Eyes

A warm compress has multiple benefits for dry eyes. It hydrates your eyes and reduces tear evaporation.

It can also open up the meibomian glands over the eyes to improve tear flow. Applying a warm compress over your eyes at home for 10 minutes or longer is one of the best ways to soothe dry eyes.

A warm compress is easy to make. You can also make one with herbs such as chamomile or mint. Find out more about making a warm compress for dry eyes.

2. Increase the Air Humidity in Your Room and Office

Heating and air conditioning systems can dry up indoor air and contribute to dry eye disease.

Consider using a humidifier if you don’t already. Even a small and portable USB-powered desk humidifier can help, especially since you can take it with you to work or while you travel.

white humidifier lying on nightstand next to made bed under shelf with books and with wall sockets behind it

Simply placing a pan of water near a heater is another way to add moisture to your room.

Tip: Find out more about how to keep your eyes healthy in an air conditioned office.

3. Take a Break from Wearing Contact Lenses

Do you wear contact lenses? They could be to blame for your dry eye symptoms. This occurs because the contact lens material limits the oxygen flow to your eyes, which makes it harder for your eyes to produce tears.

Switching to eyeglasses or simply taking your contacts off while you’re at home could bring relief. For more about contact lenses and dry eyes, check our post on managing dry eye while wearing contact lenses.

Also, some contact lenses are better for dry eyes than others. Find out more about how to choose contact lenses for dry eyes.

4. Reduce Your Screen Time

Using a computer or smartphone and watching TV reduces your blinking rate and leads to more incomplete blinks. This increases the risk of evaporative dry eye disease.

When it’s not possible to reduce your screen time because of work or studies, try to take constant screen breaks.

Every 20 minutes, close your eyes for at least 20 seconds to rest them. This will help spread the tear film over the surface of your eyes.

Is excessive screen time a problem for you? Discover some effective ways to reduce your screen time.

5. Eat More Omega 3 Fatty Acids

A study involving over 32,000 women found that women who ate the most omega-3 fatty acids from fish had a 17% lower risk of developing dry eye disease. More specifically, this referred to women who had 5 or more servings of tuna (1 serving was 85-113 grams).

By contrast, women who ate foods with a higher ratio of omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids had a higher risk of developing the condition.

Interestingly, another study found that fish oil supplements did not improve dry eye symptoms. So you’re better off eating fish and other seafood rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

6. Take an Eye Health Supplement

An eye health supplement may need a few days or longer to improve your symptoms depending on what’s causing your condition. It works by providing nutrients to your eyes and tear glands that may be lacking from your diet. The truth is that the Western diet isn’t the healthiest for the eyes.

The Mild Dry Eye Relief Bundle combines the power of the SightC superfood blend with Blueberry Gummies, a tasteful treat for your eyes.

Made from natural ingredients, the dry eye relief bundle was formulated to support eye health in the digital age. It’s also sugar-free and diabetes-friendly.

Keep your eyes happy and healthy with the Mild Dry Eye Relief Bundle.

Other Things You Can Do

In addition to the mild dry eye treatment tips above, here are a few other things you can do to soothe your eyes:

  • Place your computer screen below eye level as this may encourage you to blink more. Reading text on a screen may change your blinking patterns, leading to faster tear evaporation and dry eyes.
  • Stay hydrated so that your pee is light yellow. Adequate hydration supports the normal production of the watery component of the tear film.
  • Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake. Alcohol and caffeine from coffee and tea can dehydrate you.
  • Wear sunglasses when it’s windy outside. Wind can increase the rate at which your eyes dry up.
  • Wear blue light computer glasses. Scientific evidence does not support the claim that blue light glasses or filters can reduce eye strain. However, a 2016 study found that participants who wore eyeglasses that blocked 50% of blue light showed better visual acuity despite having an unstable tear film.

Keeping Your Eyes Healthy

If left untreated, mild dry eye disease can become more severe over time. This leads to more pronounced symptoms that last longer. Severe dry eye syndrome may even damage the surface of your eye over time, leading to vision loss.

For all these reasons, it’s important to not only address your dry eye symptoms early but to look into what may be causing your condition. As we’ve seen, multiple causes may be at play, from autoimmune conditions and poor diet to environmental factors.

man in elegant suit and white shirt looking to one side and smiling while climbing some steps

The good news is that when you understand what’s causing your dry eyes and start looking after your eyes better, you can ward off not only dry eyes but other eye conditions and boost your overall eye health.

In the end, dry eyes are often a sign that your eyes need a bit more care and attention than they are getting.

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