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Not a Dry Eye in the House

As Nebraska drastically swings from open-window weather to space heaters and fire places, you may notice a bit of a shift in vision. No, we don’t mean the beautiful foliage, fall décor, or the fact that your neighbor Mr. Fredrickson is no longer sunning in a speedo in his front yard. We mean dry, itchy eyes.

Full disclosure, we could talk to you about dry eyes any time of the year. From spring allergies to sunburned sight, snow blindness to screen time, life is hard on your eyes! But it’s more common during the first few weeks of running your heating to notice the adverse effects on your eyes. Human nature determines that after that, we simply adapt and learn to ignore the discomfort.

Not noticing that something is causing you discomfort may be a necessary part of living life on a punishing planet, but it can also lead to damage being done without you realizing it. So, don’t be a tough guy, give us a call if dry eyes are affecting your life!

Let’s talk about a few common issues that can exacerbate dry eyes:

They’re worth the discomfort, but common side effects of many mood stabilizers and tranquilizers include dry eyes

Medically Diagnosed Diseases and Disorders
While many people fall back on the standard “I have allergies” to explain their dry eyes, it’s possibly more complicated than that. From thyroid diseases to glaucoma, many diagnosis’ come with a side of dry eye. It’s important to talk with your doctor about your entire medical history and a full drug history before beginning any treatment

They put an end to a dripping nose… and can cause cotton mouth and sticky eyes. But you just had to have a cat…

Seeing well never stung so badly! It’s important to talk to your doctors if contacts are making seeing clearly a pain

You employed them to help you drop water weight, after all They’re just doing their job really, really well!

Screen Time
We get it. Most of our lives are screen-centric. In fact, we are clearly encouraging your use of screens by releasing this blog digitally rather than as a paper newsletter to be discarded with your junk mail. Staring at screens, and specifically staring at them for a prolonged period without a break, can lead to tired, burning, stinging eyes. The fix for this is as simple as looking away. Far away. Stop reading right now and look about 30 feet away from your screen, then blink a few times. Set a timer and do this, or take a brief walk every 45 minutes or so

Habitual smokers have already stopped listening, they already know. It’s one of over a dozen reasons they consider quitting smoking every day, and it just isn’t easy. But even non-smokers need to be aware of the effects of smoking. Being in proximity to those who smoke (no matter what it is they’re smoking) or vape are susceptible to all of the negative health effects of smoking.

Wait, didn’t we already say that? Yep, but this time, we don’t mean tobacco. While it may be too cold for most of us to want to leave the house at all, we know that there is a grill master you know and love standing knee-deep in the snow trying to get those perfect grill lines. They’re paying a price for smoked, grilled, and charred meats, and their eyes are the ones cashing those checks!

The Caffeine/Sleep Cycle
You woke up tired after not sleeping enough, so you drank a pot of coffee yesterday. You worked too hard all day, then couldn’t sleep all night, so you got a quad shot in your coffee this afternoon. You couldn’t sleep last night after over caffeinating, and by now you’re accustomed to exhaustion. Skipping sleep dries your eyes. Caffeine dries your eyes. Your eyes are dry. Life isn’t awesome.

Road Trip
Whether you’re in the car for a 40-minute commute or an 8 hour road trip, your eyes are taking a beating. Between the hot, dry, often dusty air blasting in your face, the long intervals between blinking, and the sun shining directly into your peepers, those bad boys are going for a ride

While you may notice some of the signs of dry eyes, the itching and scratching, the burning and frequent squinting, your ilumin doctor can help you identify the actual symptoms. Irritation, bacteria growth, and inflammation can become a real pain in the eye. Before you reach for your drugstore eyedrops, you might want to talk with your doctor about your specific causes, and whether the issue is environmental or medical.

The good news is, in either situation, something can be done! The bad news is, if something isn’t done, inflammation and irritation become gradually worse. Don’t be a hero! Let ilumin help!

Holistic Health Has its Place

There are plenty of issues that can be solved with a simple “get more sleep and exercise daily”, and many people in our practice are proud partakers of holistic approaches to health. There are, however, some situations where science beats nature.

We agree that increasing your vitamin and veggie intake can make your overall health better, there are no magical diets that will restore your vision to 20/20, and no tincture or herbal remedy will fix what’s causing your dry eye. Don’t sage us out for saying so, you’re only making your dry eyes worse.

A common Ayurvedic treatment for dry eyes is a ghee wash. In this practice, a dam is made of an organic wheat dough, then formed around your eye. Hot Ghee, or clarified butter, is then cooled to room temperature before being poured into the dam. The client is then asked to blink repeatedly, flooding their eye with amber oil, until the ghee is cool and the administrator removes the ghee from the practitioner’s eye.

While we respect religious practices and natural health, we have to draw the line. From the risk of introducing bacteria to the likelihood of burning the retina, this practice is simply too risky to be worth the “clarity” one feels they have achieved.

Instead, take your yoga class and then call your ilumin team to talk turkey. And by turkey, we of course mean your dry eyes.

From medicated solutions to surgical fixes, your ilumin doctors have the drop on dry eyes.

If you have any questions about dry eyes, want to discuss whether your current treatment is safe, or if you just want to complain about Nebraska weather, we are well versed in each area of conversation. Come on in and let’s chat!