Lifestyle Changes for Dry Eye Relief


Daily activities and environmental factors can contribute to dry eye disease. Here are some lifestyle modifications that can keep dry eye symptoms at bay.  


Increasing water consumption


 Drinking more water and decreasing caffeine, a diuretic, can help alleviate dry eyes.  Sufficient water is vital for overall health, and individuals with dry eyes should drink the recommended eight to 10 glasses of water every day. 


Avoid blowing air


Constant air flow is known to dry the eyes. Do not sleep under ceiling fans and point air vents away from you at home and in the car. You might benefit from eyeglasses to keep the moving air away from your ocular surface. Even better, wrap-around sunglasses or moisture chamber glasses might help you if you life or work in a place where the blowing air cannot be avoided.. 


Alter the digital work space


If you work on a computer, set up your work space so that your eyes are positioned so that you down-gaze slightly when viewing digital screens. You might need to raise your chair or lower your computer monitor so that your eyes are positioned in a way that allows to you look down slightly. This should help minimize computer-related dry eye symptoms.  The reason this might help is that an up-gaze position can increase the palpebral fissure size (the distance between the upper and lower eyelid), which exposing the surface of the eye can can destabilize the tear film. The tear film is more stable when the palpebral fissure is narrowed, which happens naturally in a down-gaze.


But keep in mind that screen time lowers blink rate, so you should build in breaks where you look away from the screen periodically.


 Stop smoking


Tobacco smoke worsens dry eye.  Smokers are nearly twice as likely to have dry eyes.



1. Pansell T, Porsblad M, Abdi S. The effect of vertical gaze position on ocular tear film stability. Clin Exp Optom. 2007;90(3):176-81.
2. Thomas J, Jacorb GP, Abraham L, Noushad B. The effect of smoking on the ocular surface and the precorneal tear film. Australas Med J. 2012;5(4):221-6. 
3.  Moss SE, Klein R, Klein BE. Prevalence of and risk factors for dry eye syndrome. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2000;118(9):1264-8.



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