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How to Stop Waking Up With Dry Eye?

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A woman in bed wearing a white shirt rubbing her eyes after waking up.

One of the most common complaints among people when it comes to their eyes is waking up with dry, irritated, and red eyes. This condition is known as dry eye syndrome and can be caused by various factors such as age, environment, underlying health conditions, and even lifestyle habits.

If you constantly wake up with dry eyes, don’t worry as there are ways to prevent and manage this condition. Tips for reducing dry eye include:

  • Keep your eyes hydrated 
  • Use a humidifier in your bedroom 
  • Limit screen time before bed 
  • Blink frequently 
  • Use artificial tears or eye drops 
  • Protect your eyes from environmental factors 
  • Consult your eye doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan

Keeping Your Eyes Hydrated

The most important step in preventing dry eye is to keep your eyes well-hydrated. Some ways to do this include drinking plenty of water throughout the day and avoiding dry and dusty environments. 

This can help keep your eyes lubricated and prevent them from drying out overnight. If you wear contact lenses, make sure to follow proper contact lens care and never sleep with them on.

Use a Humidifier in Your Bedroom

During the winter months, the air inside our homes can become very dry which can contribute to dry eye syndrome. 

Using a humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep can help add moisture to the air and prevent your eyes from drying out. Make sure to clean and maintain your humidifier regularly to avoid bacteria or mold buildup.

Limit Screen Time Before Bed

Excessive screen time, particularly in the form of high computer or phone usage, has been consistently associated with the development of dry eye syndrome. This is primarily due to the strain imposed on the eyes and the decrease in blinking, leading to dryness and discomfort. 

To reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome, try to limit your screen time before bed, as this will allow your eyes to rest and recuperate. Additionally, taking frequent breaks during long periods of electronic device usage can help decrease eye strain and dryness. 

Lastly, adjusting the brightness and blue light settings on your screens can effectively reduce eye strain, as excessive exposure to blue light has been shown to contribute to eye fatigue.

Blinking Frequently

Blinking is a natural reflex that helps keep our eyes lubricated and prevents dryness. However, when we are engaged in tasks such as reading, driving, or staring at screens, our blink rate decreases significantly. 

Less blinking can lead to dryness in the eyes. It is important to consciously make an effort to blink frequently, especially when participating in activities that reduce your blink rate.

Use Artificial Tears or Eye Drops

A close-up of an eye drop bottle near a person's eye.

If you experience persistent dry eye symptoms, using artificial tears or eye drops can provide immediate relief. These products help to add moisture and lubrication to the eyes, reducing irritation and discomfort. 

However, it’s important to consult with your eye doctor before using any eye drops as they may recommend a specific type or another treatment based on your individual needs.

Protect Your Eyes From Environmental Factors

Environmental factors, such as gusty winds, smoke from wildfires, and high levels of air pollution, can exacerbate the discomfort of dry eye symptoms. 

To protect your eyes, it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses or protective eyewear when spending time outdoors. You can further shield your face from windy weather by using a hat as added protection. 

Consult With an Eye Specialist

If you’re experiencing dry eyes consistently, it’s important to consult with your eye doctor. 

They can perform a thorough eye exam and provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan tailored to the cause of your dry eye. This may include treatments from eye drops to IPL.

Expert Eye Exams, Dry Eye Treatment & Personalized Advice at Brantford Eye Care

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that can have a significant impact on our daily lives. However, by making simple changes in our habits and incorporating preventative measures, we can effectively manage and reduce the symptoms of dry eye. 

At Brantford Eye Care, we are dedicated to providing excellent eye care services and helping our patients achieve optimal eye health. Our team can provide comprehensive eye exams, diagnose and treat dry eye syndrome, and offer personalized advice on how to maintain healthy eyes. Schedule your appointment with us today and take the first step towards better eye health.

Written by Dr. Cynthia Markarian Bahoshy

How many doctors does it take to change a lightbulb?”

One or two.

Clear, comfortable vision is such an integral and important part of our lives. I enjoy interacting with our patients, learning about them and their visual needs and I get great satisfaction when I can improve their quality of life by providing them with optimal eyesight at the same time as screening for and treating potentially sight-threatening conditions.

I have been an optometrist at Brantford Eye Care (previously known as Dr. Robert Schumacher and associates) since 2002. I became the new owner of Brantford Eye Care in October 2012.

I attended the University of Ottawa where I studied Biochemistry as part of my undergraduate Bachelor of Science degree. I completed my Doctor of optometry (OD) degree at the University of Waterloo in 2002.

My externship was completed at the Houston Eye Associates in Texas. During that time, I gained extensive experience in all aspects of ocular health diagnosis and management. This included exposure to various retinal conditions, glaucoma, cataracts, children’s vision, binocular vision, and other aspects of ocular disease.

I worked as a student researcher at the Centre of Contact Lens Research at the School of Optometry, University of Waterloo where I gained extensive experience in all aspects of contact lenses. I also worked as a student researcher at the Ottawa General hospital in the Department of Ophthalmology during my university years.

I am an active member of the Ontario Association of Optometrists, The Canadian Association of Optometrists, the Ontario College of Optometrists, and the Hamilton and District Area Society of Optometrists. I am certified in the Treatment and Management of Ocular Diseases.

My main interests are in dry eyes, contact lenses, and in children’s vision. I have experience working as an optometrist at a Toronto LASIK centre and I am able to answer any questions you may have regarding LASIK and other refractive surgeries. We are affiliated with the various LASIK centres and can refer you for a complimentary LASIK consultation as well as perform your pre and post-op examinations at our office.

I enjoy many activities such as swimming, yoga, playing the piano, and spending time with my family. I enjoy solving visual issues and challenges and meeting new people.

I’ve been very fortunate to have met so many wonderful patients and families at our office. I enjoy being a part of Brantford’s health care team and look forward to seeing you at the office!

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