Published on February 6, 2020

Dealing with dry eyes: why it happens and what you can do about it

Dry eyes can occur when your tear glands don’t produce enough tears to lubricate your eyes. Learn what steps you can take to prevent and treat this uncomfortable condition.

We use our eyes all day, every day. From the moment we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed. So, when dry eyes arise, they can wreak havoc fast by making simple activities (think: using a computer or driving a car) quite challenging.

What causes dry eye?

Dry eye syndrome prevalence is estimated to be 25% in Canada – that’s over 9.2 million people! Dry eyes can occur when your tear glands don’t produce enough tears to lubricate your eyes. From ageing and allergies to certain medications and medical conditions, a variety of factors can contribute to dry eyes. And while the odd instance of dry eye may not be too bothersome, chronic dry eye or dry eye syndrome can be quite difficult to manage.

Risk factors for dry eye include:

  • Age, gender and race
  • Gland dysfunction
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Sjogren syndrome
  • Androgen deficiency
  • Computer use
  • Contact lens wear
  • Estrogen replacement therapy
  • Certain environmental conditions (such as pollution, low humidity, and sick building syndrome)
  • Certain medications

Some common dry eye symptoms include:

  • Dry or painful sensations in your eyes
  • Redness or irritation
  • Additional sensitivity to light
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Blurred vision

What can you use to treat dry eyes?

Eye drops or ointment are always an effective treatment option, while lifestyle changes can help prevent dry eye from occurring in the first place.

Preventative measures include: 

  • Use a humidifier to help add moisture to the air in your home
  • Avoid cigarette smoke
  • Rest your eyes by taking regular breaks -- no reading or screen use (TV, computer, smartphone, etc.)

What about omega-3s for dry eyes?

The National Dry Eye Disease Guidelines for Canadian Optometrists lists omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA and omega-6 GLA as a long term management strategy for chronic dry eye syndrome. Recent studies have found fewer dry eye symptoms in people who take omega-3 supplements1. They also suggest that getting an effective dosage of omega 3 for dry eyes may improve tear production, decrease tear evaporation rate, and provide relief for dry eye discomfort2.

Available in both liquid and soft gel form, New NutraSea Dry Eye can help improve symptoms of dry eye syndrome, including support for proper tear function. Speak to your optometrist about your eye health concerns.

All NutraSea products are ultra-pure, great-tasting and unsurpassed in quality and innovation. Plus, they’re PureCheck Certified –so you can trust that what you read on the label matches the product inside.