Eye Treatment Before Bedtime

If you suffer from dry eyes at night and especially when you wake up in the morning, it may be due a number of things. The air and moisture in your room, your sleeping environment, and certain medical conditions can all make an impact on the quality and moisture of your eyes. Since you don’t produce tear drops in the same way while you sleep, it is important to take really good care of your eyes at night in order to avoid excessive dryness. Here are some tips for proper eye treatment before bedtime.

Use a Humidifier

If you are experiencing a lot of dryness of your eyes at night, it might be due to the humidity level in your bedroom being too low. Try installing a humidifier in your bedroom to help with the different symptoms of dry and itchy eyes at night. A humidifier will not only keep the humidity level at a reasonable volume, but it provides a cool mist in the room, providing just the right amount of cool moisture for your eyes.

Apply Heat Packs

Heat packs are not just for sore and tired muscles, they can also be used to help with lubrication of the eys. Get small and soft-sided heat packs and apply them to your eyes just before bed. The heat in these packs will stimulate the glands in your eyes, allowing proper lubrication after releasing natural oils. This is going to help improve moisture of your eyes and reduce dryness.

Eye Drops

You have two main options for eye drops: doctor prescribed and over-the-counter. OTC eye drops work very well to lubricate your eyes and can be used at night before bed to introduce moisture. You can also use them in the middle of the night if you wake with dry, itchy eyes, but usually once just before bedtime is enough. If they are not sufficient or the ones sold at your local drug store cause too much irritation, you can ask your doctor to prescribe a different brand of them.

Protect Your Eyes

Protecting your eyes from the air and other environments can also provide better moisture and reduce dryness when you sleep. Much of the instances of dry eyes at night occur because of the air in the room, and lack of blinking to produce lubrication. If this is the case, try wearing a sleep mask at night. This will protect your eye from the air in the room, and hold in some of the moisture your eyes naturally produce.

Turn Off All Air Sources

Anything that is affecting the air quality in your bedroom, aside from the humidifier, is going to cause dryness of the eyes. This includes ceiling fans and standing fans, air conditioners, and heaters. These all affect your environment and while they might keep you physically more comfortable, they can be harsh on your eyes.

Not everyone needs to worry about excessive dryness of the eyes, but if you are waking with itchy or burning eyes, it is time tos tart thinking about proper nighttime eye care.

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Preparing Your Eyes For Winter

The winter months are the best time of year for your eyes, correct? When the sun’s rays are less powerful it isn’t likely that people will experience a lot of vision problems. Who needs eye protection in the winter? UV rays, sun glare, all of that is gone. Right? Hey, the overcast skies and loads of snow mean it’s time to forget all about eye safety and relax.

Not so fast. The winter months do have some changes that reduce eye damage in some ways. The flip side is that there’s increased risk from other things. Let’s take a look at how you can prepare your eyes for winter and keep them healthy. There’s no reason to suffer from damage to the eyes with some simple strategies to avoid any lasting damage or vision loss during the winter months.

Sun Damage

It is true that in some areas the rays from the sun are less powerful in the winter. This only means that it isn’t quite as hot. UV rays can still harm your eyes. Not everyone is aware that UV rays can be even more damaging in the winter due to the reflection of sun rays off of snow and ice. Don’t put away summer sunglasses – keep them out all year to avoid a case of sunburn on the eye (photokeratitis). The best sunglasses will block out all UVA and UVB rays. Both rays can cause damage to the eyes all year long.

Cold Damage

We don’t usually think of our eyes suffering damage from the cold. Did you know that in very cold temperatures your eyes can freeze? Keeping your eyes protected from extreme cold can avoid this, but if you simply can’t avoid being outdoors in severe cold, keep your eyes protected from wind, cold water, and invest in goggles. The act of wearing goggles can seal in enough warmth to avoid freezing of the cornea which can result in vision loss.

Even if the eye doesn’t freeze, cold can cause blurring and cloudy vision when blood vessels constrict.

Pain and More

Pain and inflammation are likely to be encountered when you’ve suffered from a corneal freeze, constriction of the blood vessels in the eye. A sign of inflammation is hen the eyes eel gritty, are swollen, red, or are painful. It is important to wear goggles or glasses to protect the eyes from wind and cold. Pain and inflammation are the least severe of the problems caused by cold, but are the first warning symptom of a more serious problem.

Treatments

Sometimes the treatment is as easy as getting to a warm place. If you can’t get inside, then sit in a vehicle with the heat on, build a fire, or just cover the eyes with your hands. Warm breath inside o a scarf that covers the entire face can help. Sunburn or freezing needs the treatment from an eyecare professional and is easier to avoid that to treat. Goggles and sunglasses are the best way to avoid damage from the sun during the winter.

Eyes and Sun Damage

You use sunscreen on your skin to avoid damage from the sun, but do you protect your eyes from injury that can come from ultraviolet (UV) rays? Sunglasses are one way to do this. Not all sunglasses are created equal and using the proper protection for your eyes can mean the difference between a lifetime of healthy eyes or serious eye damage and disease.

We are familiar with how our body repairs itself when an injury occurs. Eye lens do not repair like the rest of the body, though. If the lens is damaged then it remains that way. This could result in vision loss or disease.

Sun Damage Contributes to Some Conditions

No matter the season, eyes are susceptible to damage from blue light and UV rays. Your eyes are still able to become seriously damaged by the sun’s rays in the winter if you do not protect them. In the summer the rays are three times stronger and even on cloudy or overcast days your eyes can suffer sun damage.

Some of the following conditions may be caused by sun damage or aggravated by not using protection:

  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Photokeratitis
  • Pterygia
  • Skin cancer around the eyes

What Are the Risk Factors?

All people have a risk of damage to the eyes when they have been exposed to the sun for a prolonged period of time. There are some groups of people that have a higher risk. Children that are under age ten can suffer from serious damage to the retina when exposed to the sun for too long. Children, especially those under ten, should have eye protection when outdoors.

There are more groups that are at a higher risk for sun damage:

  • Cataracts surgery patients
  • People with light eyes
  • People on medications that cause sun sensitivity
  • People with disorders of the retina
  • Protecting the Eyes

Every time you are out in the sun your need to protect your eyes. The more time you spend with your eyes exposed to sunlight, the more possibility there is of permanent eye damage. This is because damage to the eyes from the sun is cumulative over the course of your life. Remember – the lens o the eye cannot repair itself.

Between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM the sun’s rays are the strongest. During this time it is important to either protect the eyes or to avoid the sun altogether. Wearing sunglasses is the best way to protect the eyes, though all sunglasses are not created equal in their protective qualities.

The sunglasses that provide the best protection for your eyes are…

  • Large enough to cover the entire eye and fit close to the eye
  • Able to block 99-100% of UVA & UVB rays
  • Able to block blue light

An eye doctor can help you choose the right sunglasses for you. Not only can he or she help you pick out the best eye protection, they may be able to determine how much damage may already be present. Don’t wait until it’s too late to begin caring for your eyes.

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