It's not uncommon for our loved ones to experience mild health issues as they age. One of these frequently encountered conditions is dry eyes. It can often manifest in itchy eyes, a burning sensation, or even some redness.
While dry eyes might seem like a minor inconvenience, they can be quite uncomfortable and even disrupt everyday activities for seniors. Learn why dry eyes often plague our elderly, the various factors that cause it, and some effective remedies and lifestyle changes that can help.
Understanding Dry Eyes in Seniors
Dry eyes occur when tear glands can't produce enough tears for lubrication or the tears evaporate too quickly. This results in irritation, discomfort, and sometimes impaired vision. Older adults, especially those above the age of 65, can be more susceptible to dry eyes as tear production tends to decrease with age.
Possible Causes of Dry Eyes in Seniors
Numerous factors can contribute to dry eyes in seniors. Certain medications, including antihistamines, blood pressure medication, and antidepressants, can decrease tear production.
Similarly, environmental conditions like dry, windy weather or smoke can also cause or exacerbate the condition. Additionally, some health issues prevalent in seniors such as Sjogren's syndrome, diabetes, or rheumatoid arthritis might also increase the risk of dry eyes.
Practical Advice and Recommendations
There are several ways to help alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes. One effective home remedy involves the use of a warm compress on the eyes to stimulate tear production. Keeping the body hydrated by drinking enough water and maintaining a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for tear production, can also bring relief.
Lifestyle adjustments can similarly make a noticeable difference. Reducing screen time, and taking regular breaks for your eyes when reading or watching television can help reduce the strain and prevent dryness.
When to Consult a Healthcare Professional
While these home remedies and lifestyle changes can be very effective, it's essential to recognize when professional help is needed. If symptoms persist or there is severe discomfort, it's vital to consult with a healthcare professional. They can accurately diagnose the condition and recommend suitable medication or eye drops to provide relief. Moreover, regular check-ups can help in early detection and management of any underlying conditions causing dry eyes.
Work With Senior Helpers East San Diego
Understanding potential health issues like dry eyes and knowing how to manage them can make your senior loved ones’ lives more comfortable.
If ever in doubt or you need someone to share the responsibility of care, Senior Helpers East San Diego is here to help. For those living in La Mesa, San Diego, El Cajon, Santee, or Lakeside, we're just a call away. Contact us today and let us assist you in making your loved ones feel comfortable, cared for, and cherished.