Mild dry eyes may seem like just a passing nuisance. However, it could be an early warning sign that, if left untreated, may become more serious in nature.
Like most common illnesses, dry eyes can take time to manifest. Symptoms can gradually appear over weeks, months or years. It may coincide with your stress levels getting higher, increasing eye strain, lack of regular exercise or deficiencies in your diet.
If you notice your eyes are more irritable than normal, bloodshot, or general activities such as watching TV and working on computers are becoming more tiring, these can be common signs that a more serious issue may lie beneath the surface.
Temporary inflammation and redness of the eye due to allergies or other irritants is common.
However if the inflammation and dry eye symptoms persist, this is a sign that the eye’s tear film is not providing adequate lubrication to the eye and the surface of your eye is too dry.
What should I do if I experience mild dry eyes?
Use eye drops sparingly and for temporary relief only
Artificial tears can hinder your natural tear film and moisture balance if used consistently for long periods. It is also very tempting to use drops to help relieve the redness in your eyes. Prolonged use of more than a few days with these types of drops eventually makes bloodshot eyes worse. This is called the ‘rebound’ effect or rebound hyperemia
Exercise and drink plenty of water
Water helps keep your body tissues hydrated and exercise assists in removing toxins. A lot of anecdotal evidence suggests exercise is a great relief for dry eye symptoms. Exercise also creates a natural high or the “feel-good” factor.
Avoid spending too much time in very dry environments
Air-conditioned rooms with low levels of humidity can exacerbate the symptoms and mild dry eyes.
Have your hormones checked
Hormone imbalances are a major contributor to more serious cases of dry eye syndrome. Mild symptoms are potentially a warning that your hormones may not be well-balanced.
Have your eyes checked
See your Doctor and if necessary insist on a referral to a specialist to check your tear film balance and general eye health.
If you can confirm the early signs of potentially a more serious condition, you can take steps to stop dry eyes before it becomes chronic in nature.