How To Avoid Triggering Dry Eye« Back to Articles
Dry eye is a common health condition that develops when your tears don't provide enough lubrication for your eyes. Tear production can become inadequate for many different reasons, so there is no one single cause for the condition.
Dry eyes can occur when your eyes don't produce enough tears or your tears are low quality. Eyes can become irritated and inflamed due to there not being enough lubrication of the eye surface.
Patients with dry eye complain that their eyes feel uncomfortable with stinging or burning sensations. Dry eye can develop in certain environments, such as in air-conditioned spaces, airplanes, long periods of staring at computer screens, and when riding a bike.
Dry eye treatments can include eye drops or changes in lifestyle, which can provide some relief. Many people suffer with long-term dry eye symptoms so treatments or prevention measures may need to be used indefinitely.
How to prevent dry eye
Anyone experiencing dry eye will want to do all they can to trigger the symptoms. There are a few things that you can do to help prevent dry eye from developing, such as the following:
- Add moisture to dry air: Use a room humidifier during the winter when cold air can be dry and harsh, a humidifier will add moisture to dry indoor air.
- Avoid smokey atmospheres: Stop smoking and avoid smokey rooms and spaces. Cigarette smoke is a common eye irritant known to cause dry eye.
- Be mindful of your environment: Some environments can be extremely dry, such as airplanes, deserts and air-conditioned offices. It can be helpful to close your eyes for a few minutes at a time to reduce evaporation of your tears.
- Move your screens: Position your computer screen below eye level. Screens that sit above eye level will make you open your eyes wider, causing your tears to evaporate more between eye blinks.
- Rest your eyes regularly: Take eye breaks during long tasks such as when reading, or doing activities that requires visual concentration. Close your eyes for a few minutes, or blink repeatedly for a few seconds to help spread your tears evenly over your eyes.
- Try to avoid air blowing directly into your eyes: Angle room fans away from your face, point car air vents downwards towards toward the floor, direct hair dryers away from your face, keep air conditioners on a low power setting to avoid over-drying the air.
- Use eye drops regularly: If you suffer from chronic dry eyes, use eye drops regularly to help keep your eyes well lubricated and avoid triggering dry eye symptoms.
- Wear eye glasses: Consider wearing blue-light blockers or other protective eyewear when using a computer for many hours. Protective eye wear can reduce eye strain that can trigger dry eye.
- Wear sunglasses: Wraparound sunglasses or sunglasses with safety shields can be worn to block wind and dry air while riding your bike. Ask about shields where you buy your eyeglasses.
PDUK provides professional training courses for healthcare providers and medical practitioners such as nurses, clinicians and allied healthcare workers. We highly recommend the following courses for practitioners working in primary healthcare environments and involved in the assessment and management of minor health conditions.
AOL11 Minor ailments: ear and eye conditions for the primary care practitioner - Online
This four-hour course is held online and will help healthcare providers get up to speed with common ear and eye conditions. The course covers a wide range of presentations, focusing on evidence-based assessment and management along with safe practice.
It is aimed at practice nurses, community nurses, registered nurses and allied health professionals. Participants will gain skills and knowledge in the following:
- Be able to take a focused history
- Have an awareness of common ear and eye conditions and their management
- Know when to refer for specialist management
Course times are from 09:30am- 1:00pm. All course material, evaluations and certificates are provided.
A13 Minor ailments essentials: Online
This three-day course is accredited by the RCN Centre for Professional Accreditation until the 24th April 2024. This is a minor illness course for healthcare practitioners to help build skills and confidence in patient history taking and physical examination. This course focusses on common and not so common patient complaints seen in primary health care.
This training programme is aimed at nurse practitioners, practice nurses, non-medical prescribers, pharmacists, paramedics and other allied health professionals already confident in history taking and physical examination.
Programme participants will gain valuable skills and knowledge in the following:
- Confidence in taking safe, targeted histories for a variety of patient presentations
- Able to assess and identify various common conditions
- Review appropriate additional diagnostics required for accurate patient assessment
- Discuss patient management, including referral requirements for safe practice
The course runs from 10:00am- 4:30pm and all course material, evaluations and certificate are provided.