Based on the research provided by the Tear Film and Ocular Surface (TFOS) Society, there are 4-simple steps all dry eye patients should take on a daily basis to alleviate their dry eye symptoms.
In 2017, TFOS published a report called the Dry Eye Workshop that utilized the expertise of 150 clinicians and scientists around the world. These doctors compiled all of the available research and wrote a consensus on how to treat dry eyes.
The TFOS DEWS2 report advises using 4 steps to care for your dry eyes daily. No matter if you have just been diagnosed with dry eyes or you have had them for years, there is a 4-step treatment process to get relief fast. I recommended these 4 steps to all of my patients to do at home for the maintenance of healthy eyes and eyelids.
Utilizing these 4 steps is a daily regimen to give your body the support it needs to function properly. Taking these steps will help you to restore and maintain healthy, comfortable eyes and clear vision.
Revive your tired eyes by hydrating from the inside as well as the outside. Being fully hydrated gives us women the dewy skin we admire in French fashion models. Proper fluid intake also allows you to produce enough tears to bathe your eyes in moisture.
Preservative-free tears are great to restore moisture to the front surface of the eye without adding harmful preservatives. When using an electronic device and blinking less, the tears will evaporate more quickly.
Using a preservative-free tear is important to eliminate ingredients that could cause irritation. In addition, an artificial tear containing hyaluronic acid, like Optase Dry Eye Intense Drops, will keep moisture on your eye longer than other tears. Plus, these are safe to use while you are wearing contact lenses. Use the drops twice daily or as needed.
Restore the normal function of your lids. Bacteria live naturally on your body. Their presence keeps your body functioning normally. Without them, things can go wrong. Imagine eating ice cream without having bacteria to help you digest it.
However, too much bacteria can also cause problems. On your eyes, redness or flakey skin stuck around the base of the lashes is a tell-tale sign. Discomfort, irritation, or stinging and burning will occur over time.
You can calm the redness by cleansing this delicate area of your eyes daily. And, keep them healthy by using the proper products which won’t strip away the oils need to moisturize the skin.
Bacteria normally live on our lids and lashes and have a balanced relationship with your eyes. The bacteria can become overpopulated due to changes in your hormone levels (birth control pills, pregnancy, hysterectomy, and menopause), wearing contact lenses, not removing all of your makeup at night, and excessive use of electronic devices, which disrupts our normal blink rate.
Use 1 pump of HypoChlor Lid and Lash Spray directly to your clean lids twice daily. Then, rub the spray into the lash area for 20 seconds and allow the solution to remain on the lids. Do not rinse off.
Relieve your tired eyes with moist heat. Just as heat will alleviate the strain of a tight or tired muscle, it feels soothing to your lids to heat up the oil glands that line the edges of your lid margins. The oils release into the tears instead of being trapped in the oil glands themselves.
Using a warm compress mask for 8 – 12 minutes will soften the oils that have become trapped in the lids. As the oil melts, it will begin to flow again.
When the oil seeps out of the lid margins, it mixes with the watery part of your tears. The tear layer mixed with the oils is now robust. The tear film can cushion and protect the eyes the way nature intended.
Use the UnClog Eye Mask to deliver even heat distribution across your eyelids. The mask utilizes Far infrared (FIR) technology to provide heat. FIR has been investigated for biological effects. The light stimulates cells and tissues and is considered a promising treatment modality for certain medical conditions.
The FIR light passes through the tissue of the eyelids and concentrates its action at the level of the meibomian glands. Therefore, it is more effective than a microwavable more compress mask. And, it is safe to use in patients who have Rosacea.
How to use: Plug the mask into a USB port. Adjust the temperature on the control piece of the device and set the timer. Then, place the mask over your eyes to provide soothing relief for dry, scratchy, irritated eyes. Try it twice a day for the best results.
Repair your eyes from the stresses of your life. Stress increases inflammation, throughout your body. Inflammation means swelling, and when our bodies swell, they hurt. Just think about the last time you accidentally got your finger caught in the door and it swelled up two times its size. Ouch.
The cause of inflammation in your eyes is not always easy to see. Sometimes the cause is within our bodies, like an autoimmune disease. And, sometimes the cause is from outside sources like the preservatives and chemicals in our eye drops, contact lens cleaners, and eye makeup.
Anti-inflammatory treatments will reduce the discomfort and irritation in your eyes. Taking an anti-inflammatory supplement ensures you are taking an active role to bring down the levels of inflammation.
Inflammation is the hallmark of dry eye disease. Using a nutritional supplement works from the inside out to help promote healthy tear glands, and support normal tear production.
Many dry eye sufferers lack the proper balance of fatty acids that are metabolized by the body. Hydroeye contains a unique blend of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids, which have been reported to reduce inflammation associated with Dry Eye and other eyelid-related conditions.
Take 2 soft gel capsules twice daily with food or as prescribed by your doctor. Taking these soft gels daily with a meal will help reduce irritation, and support all three layers of the tear film.
Every good dry eye treatment protocol starts with an at-home treatment regimen aimed at keeping your eyes' health top of mind. Performing all 4 steps on a daily basis will go a long way in healing your eyes and helping them to stay hydrated and comfortable.
Do not get overwhelmed by this process of keeping your eyes hydrated and reducing their overall inflammation. This daily practice is as simple as brushing and flossing your teeth. And, we have all learned to do this daily since we were old enough to hold a toothbrush.
Why should you treat the delicate structures of your eyes with any less care than what you are already showing to your teeth? Your teeth can be replaced. But, your vision is irreplaceable. Take care of your eyes today. Your future self will thank you.