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There is a wide range of treatment options for dry eye disease, from lubricating eye drops to in-office procedures at your local eye doctor. In addition to the extensive treatments for dry eyes, even more options exist.

Some of these options are simple lifestyle modifications, while others are a more holistic approach to treatment. While it is important to continue to work with your eye care provider and chemist in the treatment of your dry eye disease, here are some other tips that may help provide additional relief from your symptoms.

CUT OUT TOBACCO PRODUCTS 

It is well known that cigarettes and other tobacco products are associated with many health risks. They also tend to worsen symptoms of dry eye disease. The smoke from these products is commonly a trigger for those with moderate to severe dry eyes and should be avoided. Even e-cigarettes or vaping products may cause dryness and irritation. If you are a smoker, the worsening of dry eye symptoms is just one of the many reasons you should consider stopping the use of cigarettes. If you are not a smoker but are still triggered by the smoke of these products, consider carrying artificial tears with you when you know you will be in smoke-heavy environments.

NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS AND DIET: NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR DRY EYE

Many myths exist around the idea that diet affects eyesight – such as eating carrots will help improve your vision. While this particular myth may not be true, many doctors recommend adding certain nutritional supplements to your daily food intake to help the symptoms of dry eye disease. Flaxseed oil and omega-3 fatty acids are two specific supplements that are beneficial in treating dry eye disease. Both of these supplements may help reduce inflammation that is associated with dry eyes, as well as many other conditions throughout the body. Flaxseed oil can be found naturally in certain grains and cereals. Foods like salmon, tuna, nuts, and seeds are an excellent natural source of omega-3 fatty acids. Both flaxseed oil and omega-3 fatty acids can be found in capsules or tablets that can be taken to easily add nutrients to your daily intake. Before you begin taking a dietary supplement, you should consult with your GP or chemist to make sure they are safe for you to take.

CONSIDER SYSTEMIC CONDITIONS

Many other systemic problems and inflammatory conditions can lead to the development or worsening of dry eye symptoms. Auto-immune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus can contribute to chronic dryness, and if these conditions are not properly controlled the symptoms of dry eye disease will be even more difficult to treat. There is also the chance that systemic medications may be worsening your symptoms of dryness, burning, and irritation. Medications that many Brits rely on, such as high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, or even antidepressants, can significantly affect the production of tears and can contribute to ocular discomfort. While it may not be appropriate to discontinue these medications to address symptoms of dry eye disease, it is still important for you and your doctor to understand all the factors contributing to the condition. In many cases, a few simple lifestyle adjustments and the use of rewetting drops can keep the unwanted symptoms of dry eye disease under control.

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