Skip to main content

Home » News » 3 Effective Ways to Relieve Dry Eyes

3 Effective Ways to Relieve Dry Eyes

man rubbing eye holding glasses.jpg

If you wake up in the morning feeling like your eyes have spent the night in the desert, or your eyes are itchy, dry, red and irritated all day long, you may have dry eye syndrome (DES). 

DES is super-common, yet many people either ignore it or put up with the condition, not realizing that there are steps they can take to lessen their dry eye symptoms in conjunction with treatment from their optometrist. 

Left untreated, moderate to severe cases of dry eye syndrome can impact your quality of life and even damage your vision. 

At Giddens Optometry in Georgetown we diagnose and treat DES, so contact us today to schedule a dry eye exam. In the meantime, here are some tips to manage your dry eye symptoms.     

What Causes Dry Eyes? 

Dry eyes result from not having enough tears, or tears that can't adequately hydrate the eyes. 

In most cases, DES is caused by a malfunction of the meibomian glands, located at the edges of the eyelids. If the glands become blocked, the lipid part of the tears has a hard time entering the tear film, the moist layer of tears that hydrate the eyes. If there isn't enough oil in the tears, they can evaporate too quickly, drying out the eyes. 

Dry eye syndrome can also be caused — or worsened — by environmental factors like arid weather, wind, air conditioning and heating, and even the amount of time you spend looking at a digital device. Other cases of dry eye are caused by certain medications, some medical conditions or the natural aging process.  

It's important to deal with DES quickly because, over time, it can cause chronic irritation and pain, and even corneal ulcers that result in permanent vision loss.  

1. Limit Your Screen Time  

Did you know that people blink much less often when looking at a computer, a cell phone, or even a TV screen? It's true! It's also a problem, since blinking is the way our eyes spread moisture around the tear film. The less we blink, the drier our eyes become. 

The obvious solution is spending considerably less time staring at a screen, but that's easier said than done. If you or your children must spend time on digital devices, make a conscious effort to blink more often and to take frequent breaks to rest your eyes.

2. Eat Healthy and Hydrate

The organs of your body need moisture to function, and your eyes are no exception. How much fluid you need daily is highly dependent on your body and lifestyle. The more you exert yourself physically, whether doing errands, running or cycling, the more fluids you should be consuming. 

If you find it hard to drink several glasses of water a day, add some lemon juice for flavor and to stimulate saliva production, or make yourself a smoothie with your favorite fruits or vegetables. 

In addition to fruits and vegetables, consume nuts, legumes, whole grains and lean proteins. Fatty fish is packed with omega 3 fatty acids, which can help keep your eyes hydrated.

3. Control Your Environment

If you work indoors, chances are your workplace is heated in the winter and air conditioned in the summer. While heating and cooling systems make life bearable, they also dry out the air. 

The best way to prevent dry eyes indoors is to add moisture to the air with a humidifier, which should be routinely cleaned to prevent the growth of bacteria or mold. 

When outdoors, consider wearing wraparound sunglasses, as they can help prevent dry air and wind from affecting your tear film. 

We also recommend you place a warm compress on your closed eyelids for a few minutes to  soothe your eyes. 

Schedule an Eye Exam with Your Eye Doctor! 

As helpful as these tips may be, they're not a substitute for seeing your eye doctor, who can determine the underlying cause of your dry, sore, gritty eyes and prescribe the best treatment to keep your eyes healthy.

Contact Giddens Optometry in Georgetown today to schedule your dry eye exam. 



How do you test for dry eye? 

First, your eye doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms and whether you have any medical conditions (such as an autoimmune disease) or are taking any medications (such as allergy medication) that could be causing or worsening your symptoms. For the most common dry eye test, called the Schirmer's test, your eye doctor will place a tiny piece of paper over your lower eyelid to check the amount of moisture your tear glands are producing.   

Can I wear contact lenses with dry eyes?

Wearing standard contact lenses when you have dry eyes can be challenging and highly uncomfortable. Ask your eye doctor about the best contact lenses to wear if you have dry eye syndrome. The best thing you can do is to treat the underlying cause of your dry eyes, as it may make it possible for you to comfortably wear standard contacts again! 


a3ef93d0 34de 453f b5f4 5ffd895a5f85 (1)A Letter from Dr. Ben Giddens

Hello friends, I have retired!

I had 37 years of good fun in Georgetown and loved the gift of meeting so many warm and friendly people! I am very sorry that I didn’t have the time to chat with everyone about my exact plans, and felt guilty over that at times. It was not an easy task. If anyone wants, or needs to contact me, please send an email to my office and I will reply.

I am 66 years old and still feel like I am in good health. My wife died of cancer in 2021 but I have good friends and family and a fun life. I recently moved back to Toronto which is where I grew up as a teenager. I have an active outdoor life and have many ski trips and travel plans in front of me. Lots of interests and activities to explore with an overriding sense that I am a lucky guy. I am also a grandfather now.

I have always tried to employ staff and optometrists who have a heart. I think that is where the office is at today and I hope it continues. Everyone knows their work, and the heart matters.