Surprisingly, any extreme climate or temperature change can lead to dry eyes. As summer heats up, you might notice your eyes have become more dry than usual. Yet, there’s always more than what meets the eye (pun intended!).
So, what else could be contributing to your dry eyes? And what can you do to protect your eyes and decrease their sensitivity? In this article, we’re going to explore what causes sensitive and dry eyes, as well as what foods, supplements, and habits can help you avoid this common problem.
What Causes Eye Sensitivities?
It goes without saying; when in the sun, you should definitely wear sunglasses and even a hat. These items help protect your eyes and your skin from the sun’s powerful rays.
But why do our eyes become so sensitive to the sun anyway?
Well, if your eyes are already dry, you’re more likely to find your eyes feel sensitive to sunlight as well. On top of this, light-colored eyes, such as blue and green eye colors, actually contain less pigment. This means that they are more prone to UV damage.
Yet, the sun isn’t the only culprit when it comes to eye sensitivities. Some other common causes of eye sensitivities include:
1. Excessive Use of Digital Products
Eye strain is an all-too-common problem in today’s digital age. Common symptoms of this condition include dry eyes, sore or itchy eyes, increased sensitivity to light, and even headaches.
However, this condition can easily be avoided by practicing the 20-20-20 rule. This rule involves looking at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. In turn, you can significantly reduce your chances of experiencing eye strain, especially if you work long hours in front of a computer or other digital device.
2. Genetic Reasons
Genetics can actually play a role in developing various eye diseases and conditions. For instance, photophobia, sensitivity to light, can develop due to genetic causes. However, as previously mentioned, protecting your eyes from the sun via the use of sunglasses can help in leaps and bounds.
3. Lack of Nutrients
Age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, may partly arise due to vitamin C, antioxidants, vitamin E, zinc, and beta carotene deficiencies. It’s no secret that optimal health starts with our diet, which is why in the next section, we outline some of the best foods and supplements for eye health.
Foods and Supplements for Eye Health
If you don’t already, some foods you may want to incorporate into your diet to improve eye health and decrease eye sensitivities include:
- Red peppers
- Fish (such as salmon, tuna, and other oily fish)
- Sweet potatoes
- Leafy greens
- Sunflower seeds
Alternatively, certain supplements can help also ensure you obtain adequate eye nutrients, especially during times or in places where some nutrients aren’t as easily accessible. For example, Life Nutrition’s Bright Eyes is based on the formula that is proven to improve eye health by the AREDS2 with over 30 years of clinical studies, Women’s Everyday Complete, and Men’s Everyday Complete can help ensure your body receives the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals it needs for optimal eye health.
Other Eye Health Tips & Tricks
So, what else should you know? Here are a few last tips:
- Quit smoking.
- Visit your eye doctor regularly.
- Wear safety glasses when needed.
- Manage diabetes and regulate blood sugar to prevent eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema.
- Know your family’s eye health history so that you can work toward preventing and limiting any genetic conditions from developing.
At the end of the day, you only get one body and one pair of eyes. Arguably, your sense of vision is one of the most important senses you have. It allows you to see and experience the world, as well as interact with it—offering tons of reasons why you should take care of it!