PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you experience dry eyes, pay attention to the situations that are most likely to cause your symptoms. Then find ways to avoid those situations in order to prevent your dry eyes symptoms. For instance:
- Avoid air blowing in your eyes. Don't direct hair dryers, car heaters, air conditioners or fans toward your eyes.
- Add moisture to the air. In winter, a humidifier can add moisture to dry indoor air.
- Consider wearing wraparound glasses or eyeglass shields to protect your eyes. Safety shields can be added to the tops and sides of eyeglasses to block wind and dry air from getting to your eyes. Ask about shields where you buy your eyeglasses. Swim goggles may create the same effect.
- Take eye breaks during long tasks. If you're reading or doing another task that requires visual concentration, take periodic eye breaks. Close your eyes for a few minutes. Or blink repeatedly for a few seconds to help spread your tears evenly over your eyes.
- Be aware of your environment. Ambient air at high altitudes, desert areas, and in airplanes can be extremely dry. When spending time in such an environment, especially when flying over long distances, it may be helpful to frequently close your eyes for a few minutes at a time to minimize evaporation of your tears.
- Position your computer screen below eye level. If your computer screen is above eye level, you'll open your eyes wider to view the screen. Position your computer screen below eye level so that you won't open your eyes as wide. This may help slow the evaporation of your tears between eye blinks.
- Stop smoking and avoid smoke. If you smoke, stop. Ask your doctor for help devising a quit-smoking strategy that's most likely to work for you. If you don't smoke, stay away from people who do. Smoke can worsen dry eyes symptoms.
- Facts about dry eye. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/dryeye/dryeye.asp. Accessed June 14, 2012
- Preferred Practice Pattern: Dry eye syndrome. San Francisco, Calif.: American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/PPP_Content.aspx?cid=127dbdce-4271-471a-b6d9-464b9d15b748. Accessed June 14, 2012.
- Shtein RM. Dry eyes. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 14, 2012.
- Yao W, et al. Dry eye syndrome: An update in office management. The American Journal of Medicine. 2011;124:1016.
- Stevenson W, et al. Dry eye disease. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2012;130:90.
- Treatment. TearScience.com. http://www.tearscience.com/physician/in-officeprocedure/treatment/. Accessed June 21, 2012.
- Care of the patient with ocular surface disorders. St. Louis, Mo.: American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x4813.xml. Accessed June 14, 2012.
- Rand AL, et al. Nutritional supplements for dry eye syndrome. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology. 2011;22:279.
- Arita R, et al. Caffeine increases tear volume depending on polymorphisms within the adenosine a2a receptor gene and cytochrome p450 1a2. Ophthalmology 2012;119:972.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 27, 2012.