For many people, dry eye is a condition that they deal with on a daily basis and is something they unfortunately have just accepted. As a chronic, progressive condition, people do not realize that it is something that can be easily managed through a few different steps. Dr. Michael Lange, an Optometrist and expert in natural approaches to dry eye, believes that patients should be able to have comfort along with great vision. Dr. Michael Lange took the time to share his expertise on the causes of dry eye and provided the following five steps to help your dry eye condition.
Causes of Dry Eye
Dry eyes are generally caused by reduced amount of tears being produced to sufficiently keep the eyes wet and lubricated, causing discomfort, irritation, redness, trouble focusing, and many times light sensitivity. Dr. Michael Lange explains that some common reasons for dry eye include contact lens use – from improper use to frequent use – there is decreased oxygen supplied directly to the eyes and increased tear evaporation, aging causes decreased tear production and many arthritis related conditions can cause dry eyes.
Additionally, certain medications act on receptors that decrease tear secretions leading to dry eyes. Finally, one of the biggest causes of dry eyes is our environment, where things such as heaters, dust, pollen and pollution can lead to the drying of eyes.
For patients with mild dry eye symptoms, many find that lubricating eye drops help ease symptoms significantly and are comforting, as they help artificially restore moisture while also helping to flush away any irritants that may have built up. Depending on symptoms, Dr. Michael Lange suggests using them anywhere from once to 4-6 times/day as needed, and also suggests staying away from certain eye drops meant to reduce redness, as they vasoconstrict causing further decrease in natural tear production.
Something that many people neglect is our eyelids and the importance of keeping them clean. Eyelids and eyelashes have the important role of protecting our corneas and eyes in general from debris and other particles that may potentially be harmful by acting as a physical barrier. But if not properly cleaned, these foreign bodies can build up and cause irritation and can potentially lead to tear duct blockage, eventually leading to dry eye. Dr. Michael Lange recommends washing your eyelids once daily, using a warm cloth to gently clean out the eyelid.
As part of the daily routine of cleaning the eyelids, it is also recommended to use a warm compress to help open up potentially clogged ducts that can keep natural oils and our tears from helping to keep our eyes moist. The heat of the compresses can help break down the clogs and empty out the ducts, allowing tears and oils to flow naturally. It is suggested using a washcloth and soaking in warm water, followed by rinsing and placing over your eyes for at least 10 minutes. This can be done twice daily to help with more severe symptoms.
Other little changes Dr. Michael Lange suggests is taking breaks from screen use, as this can cause both eye strain as well as dry eyes. It is suggested to take a break every 20 minutes and look at something for 20 seconds that is 20 feet away to help relax your eyes, sometimes referred to as the 20-20-20 rule. Another simple change is removing eye makeup thoroughly, especially before bed, as makeup can clog up our glands and ducts, leading to dry eyes.
Fortifeye Advanced Dry Eye Therapy
Another popular dry eye and eye health remedy is the use of fish oils and omega fatty acids. With over 25 years of research in the field, Dr. Michael Lange has been heavily invested in helping his patients that suffer from dry eyes and has researched and developed his own formulated dry eye therapy that has recently become available to the public.
On a cellular level, inflammation and oxidation can lead to damage, and many of these supplements help as antioxidants and help to relieve dry eye and eye tiredness. Generally, Omega-3 is used, and in his special formulation, Dr. Lange uses what he calls Super Omega, helping deliver the fish oil in a way and in the right dosage to help dry eye symptoms.
In his specially formulated Advanced Dry Eye Therapy, he has achieved clinical results using this Omega-3, along with an Omega-6 called GLA, and astaxanthin, a potent carotenoid, along with lutein and zeaxanthin to significantly reduce the amount of dry eye symptoms patients experience. It has been shown that this formula has reduced inflammatory marker levels in the blood, and as each of the ingredients serve a particular purpose, the eyes are greatly benefitted, both with dryness and strain.