Back To Reality - Why Being Back In The Pub Means Dry Eyes
Dry eyes and its related problems are common eye complaints that you can usually treat at home. Since we’ve all been enjoying our return to some form of normality, getting out and about more and socialising, dry eyes may well be something that you notice more - why?
What causes dry eyes?
Dry eyes are a common eye complaint with many causes. Often, dry eyes are caused by everyday activities and can be easily treated at home. Common irritants include:
- Increased screen time
- Allergies or sensitivity to things in the air like pollen, dust, mold
- Dehydration such as that caused by increased alcohol consumption
- Air quality factors such as pollution or air conditioning
Alcohol and dry eyes…
If you already have dry eyes, then you will find that drinking alcohol will accelerate the symptoms. So whether you’re prone or not, you are likely to find that if you drink, you get sore, irritated eyes (part of the general dehydration), which in turn can lead to redness, swelling and puffiness.
How else can alcohol impact your eyes?
As well as drying your eyes, alcohol can also have a variety of other effects, these include:
Decreased pupil reaction/response - alcohol slows your pupils’ response time, which can of course mean you’re more prone to clumsiness, accidents and is why you are not allowed to drink more than a small amount when driving - ideally this should be none.
- Vitamin A deficiency - excessive alcohol consumption can prevent your liver from absorbing the right amount of crucial vitamins your body needs. This can lead to you becoming deficient in Vitamin A which is essential for eye health, to help decrease chances of degeneration and reducing inflammation and risk of infection
- Eye twitching - Although harmless, eye twitching can be incredibly irritating. It’s caused by excessive alcohol, which causes the eyelid muscles to contract involuntarily, which can be exacerbated by being tired. Should the twitching continue for more than 10 days, seek medical advice from your doctor.
- Bloodshot eyes - Alcohol causes small vessels in your eye to dilate, meaning more blood flows through them, which can make them appear larger and more red. Placing a cold compress, like The Eye Doctor Hot and Cold Eye Mask over closed eyes should help reduce the appearance of redness and swelling, making you appear more awake and bright-eyed.
How can I treat dry eyes?
With much anticipated freedoms only just returning, we appreciate that staying out the pub altogether may not be on the cards, but with responsible drinking and the help of a few simple, at home treatments, you can minimise the impact of alcohol on your eyes. Even if you’re not a big drinker, it’s always good to know how to tackle this at home.
You might find that a gentle massage of the eyelids, following a hot compress (you can do this by using The Eye Doctor Heat Mask and following the heating and application instructions) will help with loosening any blockage in the glands in the eyelids which prevents your eye’s natural lubrication. Once you’ve applied the compress and completed a massage of the lid, you should start to feel some natural moisture returning. Be gentle and of course, if your symptoms worsen or progress, it might be time to speak to an eye health specialist or your GP.
Take good care of your eyes and make sure to keep the base of your lashes clean (we have wipes for that!), this will help prevent blockages which reduce lubrication and lead to your eyes becoming sore and dry.
You can read more about dry eye disease, its causes and how to avoid it by checking out our other posts.