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How To Prevent Dry Eye

Relief, at last
Got itchy, dry eyes? The usual suspects—allergies, air pollution, and weather conditions—could be to blame, but here’s another culprit: your age. As you get older, you’re more at risk of suffering from chronic dry eye, especially if you’re going through menopause. Follow these easy steps to keep your eyes moist and happy!

Take a break from the computer
Being in front of a computer all day takes a serious toll on your eyes. Take a break from the computer screen for one minute every hour, recommends James Sinoway, OD, from Madison Eyes Optical Center in New York City.

Use lubricating eye drops
Artificial tears are over-the-counter eye drops that can relieve dry eye. Look for ones without preservatives, which could irritate your eyes, and use every couple of hours.

Opt for omega-3s
Is there anything fish oil can’t do? Omega-3s in fish oil help reduce inflammation throughout the body—especially in the eyes, which is a main cause of dry eye, says Dr. Sinoway.

Go easy on the contacts
Your go-to way of seeing is another major cause of dry eye. If you need to wear them during the day, take them out as soon as you get home to give your peepers a rest.

Be aware of your environment
Here’s an easy equation: Dry environment equals dry eye. If you live in an arid environment, you’re more apt to have dry eyes, so invest in a humidifier, says Dr. Sinoway. It will create more moisture in your home (or office), and is especially good for the wintertime when your heating system produces a lot of dry air.

Mind your meds
Certain medications, such as antihistamines for allergies, cause dry eye because they’re designed to dry your sinuses out. Some birth control pills can also lead to dry eye. Ask your doc if there are less drying medication options.

Try these eye massages
Try these eye massages
Andrew Weil, MD, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona, recommends doing these massages:
1. Rub hands together to warm them up. Rest elbows on a table and cup hands over both eyes, with heels of palms on cheeks. Take a few deep breaths, then move hands higher, and gently apply light pressure to each eye with heel of palm. Hold for a moment, then release.
2. Use thumbs to gently massage your brow, starting between eyebrows and moving toward temples. Repeat, using fingertips to apply light pressure to the same spots. When finished, open your eyes wide and take several deep, relaxing breaths.

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