Community Blog

Helping Seniors Manage Dry Eyes

By Ketan Shah

Dry eyes occur when a person’s eyes don’t produce enough tears or make poor quality tears. That leaves the eyes dry and feeling gritty. It’s a condition that commonly occurs in older adults. Not only is it uncomfortable, it can also cause vision problems. Tears are necessary for keeping vision clear. They also help to prevent eye infections and wash away foreign objects that get in the eyes. If your aging relative suffers from dry eyes, they should see a doctor. In addition, there are steps they can take at home to make living with dry eyes easier. Below are some things that can help to manage dry eyes.

Use Prescription Medicines
If the senior’s doctor prescribes medication to treat the condition, it’s important that they use the medicine as directed. Usually, the medicine is in the form of eye drops. It can take some time for the drops to start working but encourage the older adult to stick with it or talk to the doctor.

A senior care provider can remind your aging relative when it is time to use the eye drops prescribed by the doctor. Although they cannot administer the drops, they can watch the older adult and make sure they are using them correctly.

Protect Eyes from the Wind
Keep air from blowing in the senior’s eyes as much as possible. This includes wind as well as air from hair dryers, fans, and heating and air conditioning vents. When possible, seat the older adult in places where air will not blow in their faces or direct vents away from their eyes. To protect eyes from the wind, it can be helpful to purchase wraparound sunglasses to protect the eyes.

Senior care providers can help older adults to choose seats that are away from sources of blowing air. They can also remind them to wear sunglasses when they go outside.

Keep Eyelids Clean
Most people don’t think about washing their eyelids when they wash their faces, but it’s an important step in reducing dry eyes, especially if the older adult wears eye makeup. Dirt, oil, and debris on the eyelids can cause inflammation and block oil ducts.

A senior care provider can help your older family member to wash their eyelids twice per day. To wash eyelids, use a mild cleanser, like baby shampoo, or purchase a product made specifically for washing eyelids. Applying warm compresses to the eyelids a few times per day can also be soothing.


Sources
https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2019/dry-eyes.html?intcmp=AE-HEA-CND-R1-C1-ART
https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/dry-eye-relief-tips
https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/dry-eye-tips
https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/dry-eye

If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring senior care in Saratoga, CA, please contact the caring staff at Home Helpers today (408) 259-5930.