5 Lifestyle Changes That Can Relieve Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome is a multifactorial disorder of the eye’s surface affecting millions of Americans. It typically results from poor tear quality or inadequate tear production. Some of the typical dry eye symptoms include the following:

  • Gritty, burning eyes.

  • Fluctuating or blurred vision.

  • Light sensitivity.

  • Eye redness.

  • Excessive tearing.

  • Eye fatigue.

  • Difficulty with nighttime driving.

  • Stringy mucus around or in the eye.

  • Foreign object sensation in the eye.

Lifestyle Modifications to Alleviate Dry Eyes

If you experience occasional dry eyes or mild symptoms, lifestyle changes alone may help alleviate your discomfort. If your symptoms are more severe, eye care professionals recommend lifestyle changes plus another treatment form. Some of the lifestyle modifications that may help mitigate your symptoms include:

Stay Hydrated

Your eyes require adequate moisture to stay comfortable and healthy. Dry eyes are one of the first symptoms of dehydration. It helps to drink a glass of water if your eyes feel dry. Besides affecting your eyes, dehydration can impact your entire body, causing you to experience dizziness, headaches, dry skin, muscle cramps, and more. 

Drinking lots of water will alleviate your dry eye symptoms and make the rest of your body feel great. That is why consuming lots of alcohol often leads to dry, red eyes. Many studies prove that alcohol affects the tear film. 

Quit Smoking

Medical professionals associate smoking with respiratory illness and cancer. However, studies also confirm an association between it and chronic dry eye. Studies suggest an increased risk of meibomian gland dysfunction and a decrease in tear film among people with a long smoking history. 

Change Your Diet

A healthy diet is a critical tool for maintaining eye health. Research suggests that people who stick to a Mediterranean diet tend to demonstrate improvements in symptoms and clinical signs of dry eye syndrome. 

So, it would help to increase your intake of veggies, fruits, fish, cereals, nuts, legumes, and olive oil, while decreasing your consumption of dairy products, meats, and saturated fats. Olive oil is particularly beneficial as it helps protect against oxidative damage that experts believe can play a role in dry eye disease. 

Reduce Digital Device Use

Eye care professionals associate prolonged digital screen use with worsening dry eye symptoms. So, it is best to limit your time staring at digital screens and follow the 20-20-20 rule. The rule states that people should take a 20-second break every 20 minutes of screen time and look at something 20 feet away. If you must use a digital device, blink frequently and ensure the right screen settings. 

Protect Your Eyes 

Environmental factors like humidity, wind, and dry weather conditions can contribute to eye dryness. Significant air and heat can dry out your eyes. Wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses acts as a protective measure from extreme air and wind.

You should also turn your eyes away from vents in the car and turn off the ceiling fan over your bed before sleeping because eyelids do not entirely close during sleep. 


These and other lifestyle changes can help improve your quality of life if you suffer from dry eyes. Always consult your eye doctor about any pain or discomfort you experience with your eyes. After all, while dry eyes can be a relatively minor condition, they may signal something more severe.

For more on dry eye syndrome, visit City Eyes Optometry Center at our Sherman Oaks, California office. Call (818) 960-1300 to schedule an appointment today.

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