Dry eye is not typically a dangerous condition, but it can be annoying. Whether you wear prescription glasses or not, suffering from dry eyes can put a damper on day-to-day life.

Dry eye is a symptom much more than a disease. Many different conditions, injuries, diseases and other circumstances can lead to dry eye. Most of us know that wearing contact lenses for too long can leave the eyes dry and uncomfortable, but did you know that your sleep schedule also has a big impact on how dry your eyes feel?

How a lack of sleep contributes to dry eye

It’s true. Your nightly shut-eye has a big impact on how your eyes feel in the morning. A lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can leave your eyes feeling gritty and dry. Insomnia negatively affects tear secretion and tear film stability, both of which are vital to keeping your eyes moistened.

Not getting enough sleep can also have other negative effects on your eye health. Eye vessels can pop, leaving your eyes red and “bloodshot”. You may also experience involuntary eye twitches when you don’t rest your eyes long enough.

You may also be waking up with dry eye thanks to improperly functioning eyelids. If your eyelids aren’t completely closing while you sleep, your eyes will dry out, leaving you uncomfortable in the morning.

Before you start looking at ways to prevent dry eye symptoms from occurring, you need to determine what exactly is causing your distress. It may be a lack of sleep, or your dry eye could be a result of something else. Other common causes of dry eye include:

  • Age
  • LASIK eye surgery
  • Certain medical conditions including diabetes and lupus
  • Tear gland damage
  • Some medications like hormonal birth control or antidepressants

Preventing dry eye

The good news is that dry eye, while usually a chronic problem, can be managed. You can prevent dry eye from becoming bothersome with a few simple tips.

  • Stay hydrated

Your eyes are one of the first places in your body to lose water when you become dehydrated. Drink plenty of water to keep dry eye at bay.

  • Use eye drops

Over-the-counter eye drops are a cheap and easy way to keep your eyes hydrated. Just be sure you are using regular eye drops, and not the medicated drops meant to cure redness. These medicated drops can increase red eye and other discomforts if used too frequently.

  • Protect your eyes from the sun

Invest in a high-quality pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from damage caused by the sun. Be sure your lenses are 100 percent UV-resistant to get the full benefits of your shades. Sunglasses from 39DollarGlasses completely block UV rays and can even be ordered to match your prescription.

  • Get plenty of good sleep

As we’ve noted, there is a connection between poor sleep and dry eyes. Ensuring you consistently get a good night’s sleep will help spare you the annoyance of dry eyes.

Curing dry eye

In some cases, dry eye may be permanently curable. First, your eye doctor must determine what is causing your dry eyes. If the answer is a problem with your tear ducts, procedures like thermal pulsation or punctal occlusion may be able to help you.

Blue light and sleep

Humans are naturally wired to be active during the day and asleep at night. Our brains recognize light, but can’t always differentiate the source. This means that exposure to certain lights after sunset can trick our minds into thinking it’s still daylight. This interferes with our natural sleep cycles, makes deep sleep more difficult, and can contribute to dry eye.

There are ways to combat this. Blue light is the biggest contributor to this phenomenon, and blue light is most commonly found emanating from digital screens and LED lights. So cutting computers and phones out of your nighttime routine can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

For those of us who don’t have the luxury of limiting our screen time, or who don’t want to, there are other options. One is to invest in a pair of computer glasses. These blue-light-blocking lenses have been coated with special materials to filter blue light away before it reaches the eyes. Not only do computer glasses help reduce eye strain, but they can combat the harmful effects of blue light, as well.

Blue light glasses from 39DollarGlasses use Blue495 technology to protect you from blue light and reduce eye strain by blocking glare.

Schedule an eye exam

If you’ve noticed an increase in dry eyes, bring it up with your eye doctor. If you haven’t been to the optometrist’s in a while, schedule an appointment right away. Healthy adults should have an annual eye exam every one to two years. While dry eye is usually a harmless nuisance, it is possible it may be a symptom of a more serious underlying condition, so don’t wait to get it checked out.

Seeing an eye doctor is also the only way to get an accurate eyeglass or contact lens prescription, which will allow you to shop around for cheap glasses online. 39DollarGlasses.com stocks all the latest trends and styles so you can get the most out of your vision and look great doing it.