How to Quickly and Easily Get Relief for Dry Eyes

Don't Let This Debilitating Condition Get the Best of You

Millions of people are affected by dry eyes, and many don’t know what to do about it.  But there are ways to find quick relief.

Certain environments and activities can make dry eyes worse

That Doesn’t Sound Comfortable

Last week a patient told me his eyes were “miserably dry.”  He was so uncomfortable he could hardly work, and carried artificial tears wherever he went.  He also used allergy drops and eye ointment, but nothing was working well.

I understood what he meant.  I have experienced dry eyes ever since I was a teenager.  That’s right – dry eyes aren’t just for the elderly.  Anyone can have them.  Just ask Jennifer Aniston.

Help for the Hurting

Fortunately, there are options for people with dry eyes.  Now there are more treatments than ever.  But how do you know what’s right for you?

Here are some of the quick and easy options my patient tried, and some of the treatments I discussed with him.  I’ll cover long term treatments and prescription medications in a separate post.

  • Artificial tears.  I’m not a huge fan of moisturizing drops, mainly because most patients have already tried several brands with little success.  But for mild dry eyes I do like Systane Ultra.  I usually tell patients if they are using artificial tears more than two or three times per day, they are not working.
  • Eye ointment.  Many companies that make artificial tears also make ointments to be placed in the eyes at night.  They aren’t for daytime use simply because they’re too thick, and cause blurry vision.  These products aren’t for most people because it’s either the wrong choice or too uncomfortable to use.  I do like nighttime gels for patients with certain corneal diseases, though.
  • Moisture goggles.  If you’re not a light sleeper, these may be for you.  They trap moisture from your own tears while you sleep.  These can be helpful for people who have severe dry eyes, poorly fitting eyelids, or certain corneal diseases.  If you’re an open-eye sleeper, these may be for you.  Another advantage is that most moisture goggles block light for deeper sleep.
  • Nutritional supplements.  Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to help the tear gland production.  They can be found in either fish oil or flaxseed oil supplements.
  • Eyelid hygiene.  Keeping the eyelids clean is one way to ensure your oil glands work properly.  This is especially important if you wear makeup.  Find out the best way here.
  • Hot compresses.  Some doctors recommend pressing a hot washcloth to the eyelids for a few minutes several times per day.  The heat will stimulate the oil glands to produce more.  My patients have trouble making this a habit, though.  But if you’re motivated and consistent, this might work for you.
  • Wear glasses.  Your eyes could use a windshield.  Whether you choose prescription eyewear or sunglasses, tell your eye care professional you want both clear vision and protection for your eyes.
  • Give yourself a break!  Many things make dry eyes worse, such as staring at a screen, wearing contact lenses, and certain work environments (think dusty or constantly flowing air).  Taking a break from these circumstances can help your eyes replenish their own tears.

The list is just a summary.  There are other treatments and medications that may work for you.  And more importantly, there are a lot of other reasons your eyes may feel dry, including allergies, infections, and even eye diseases.

Only a complete eye exam with an eye doctor you trust will tell you why your eyes are uncomfortable and what to do about it.  Stay tuned for my next post, where I will review advanced treatments your eye doctor may use.

Question: Can you remember when your eyes were the most uncomfortable?  Please tell me about it in the comments below.


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Three Outstanding Vision Tech Categories You Missed at CES

Get Ready to See Like You Never Have Before

This year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has wrapped up, and there are a few important categories that are really going to hit their stride this year.

Drone technology, as well as the footage that comes with it, will continue to grow in the coming year.

New Technology – for the Time

When I was younger, it was cool to get excited about new technology.

Back then, the Vortek V3, an arcade-style game with a virtual reality (VR) helmet was astounding.  I remember trying it, swinging the helmet (and me) around with the handles and experiencing the best commercially available VR available then.

Or consider the Christmas my father-in-law bought everyone remote-controlled helicopters.  Drones were a dream back then.  The unpredictable nature of multiple blades (and copters) in our rented cabin was too much.  We crashed most of them, due to our excitement and inexperience.

CES 2017

This year’s CES was amazing as usual, no matter your favorite industry.  Everything is getting smarter and more connected.  Want a smart kitchen gardens?  You got it.  Interested in smart speakers?  No problem.  Smart beds, refrigerators, and vacuums?  Yep, they were there.

If you’re living the visual lifestyle, there were three categories at CES you’ll want to watch in 2017:

  • Drones: If you think these became more popular last year, just wait. The number of drones, pilots, and applications will increase a lot this year.  For the time being, let’s set aside flying ambulances, airport safety drones, and drone pizza delivery.  Most drone use, especially by amateurs, will involve both photos and video.  With that, get ready to see things from different angles, at different speeds, and from different perspectives than you’ve ever seen them before.  Not so long ago, if you wanted an aerial photo of your home or business, you had to hire a helicopter or small plane.  That’s just no longer true.
  • Virtual Reality: The VR industry us exploding. Cameras and headsets, and companies that make them, are increasing rapidly.  Last year was the first big conversion of VR headsets from technological possibility to consumer product.  Their sales, brands, styles, and functions will increase this year.  Here is a short list of possibilities:
    • Eye-hand VR
    • Drawing and animating
    • VR without goggles
    • Larger fields of view
    • 360 degree photography, videography, and movies, including 3D
    • Body and motion tracking
  • Smart Glasses: This is different from VR. You can’t walk down the street wearing VR goggles.  Smart glasses let you see and interact with the world around you.  Most smart glasses perform some additional function (think phone calls, photos and videos, or GPS).  And while previous versions of smart glasses (Google Glass and Snap Spectacles) have been both fun and exciting, I’m really looking forward to one particular version called PogoTec.  It’s photo/video enabled eyewear that’s stylish, simple, and easily customized.  Check out this post for more information.

I could write an entire year’s worth of posts about the technology at this year’s CES.  But for the overall view of what categories have the most momentum, these are the technologies that I expect will grow a lot this year.

Keep your eyes open – as technologies continue to hit the market, I’ll continue to give you updates.

Question: What do you think this year’s biggest technological hit will be?  please let me know in the comments below.


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Exciting New PogoCam Might Put Your Smart Glasses to Shame

New Wearable Tech Shines at CES

Every year the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas showcases the year’s most exciting new technology.  This year PogoCam was introduced, and it just might make other smart glasses obsolete.  Check out the video:

A Bumpy Ride

First person point of view images and video are nothing new.  Anyone who grew up with 8mm video cameras might remember their own experiments with the latest technology of their day.

I remember trying a few things with the camera that didn’t turn out as I had planned.  Before there was GoPro, there was me (and probably many others) who strapped their video camera to a bike without success.  The videos were too bumpy to watch more than once without getting seasick.

I wound up shelving my aspirations of becoming the next action sports videographer.


This year’s CES was no disappointment.  Drones, virtual reality, and other popular technology continues to advance.

I’ve noticed something about smart glasses and augmented reality eyewear.  You can’t wear them without looking a little like Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Geordi LaForge.

PogoCam by PogoTec hopes to change all that.  According to their website, It’s the first wearable camera for every day eyewear, and the smallest detachable camera in the world.  In other words, It’s cool.  It works.  And it’s something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear in public.

Here are other details you need to know:

  • Coming soon: PogoCam will be released this spring.  The camera alone will cost around $129, but that price excludes the eyewear.
  • User friendly: Simply push once for photos, twice for videos.  One more push stops video recording.
  • Versatile: Because PogoCam is a self-contained unit, it can easily be switched to any other eyewear or sunwear with a PogoTrack, the magnetic retention strip.
  • Brands: PogoCam won’t work with just any glasses.  They need to be mounted on eyewear with a PogoTrack.  Early brands may include Foster Grant, Ocean Pacific, Argus Vision, and Vista Eyewear.  I expect many more brands will eventually offer PogoTrack compatibility.
  • Stingy storage: Early versions will only allow for about 1G of storage, enough for just 100 photos or about 2 minutes of 720p video.  This should increase with future versions of the product.
  • App support: The PogoCam app will allow easy transfer of photos and video to your smartphone for additional storage and sharing on social media.

I’m excited about PogoCam.  It’s fashionable, so you don’t look like a robot wearing them.  It’s quicker than digging out your phone.  And, it keeps your eyes off your screen and engaged with your environment.

Stay tuned for updates on PogoCam, including release dates, availability, and possibly even a review.

Question: Would you buy and wear PogoTec glasses?  Please let me know what you think in the comments below.


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