If you’re a Dry Eye patient still looking for a New Year’s resolution, below are 10 different ones to pick from. You can tailor any one to your specific situation.
Or maybe you’ll be inspired to make up your own. Either way, don’t miss our #1 New Year’s resolution for Dry Eye patients below.
#10. I will stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.
Staying hydrated is important because the eyes secrete 5 – 10 ounces of water each day. If you’re dehydrated systemically, you won’t be producing the tears you need.
#9. I will take frequent breaks while reading anything including my computer/smart phone/tablet/etc.
When we read, whether it’s a book or smart phone or other device, we tend to blink less than when we don’t read. Taking frequent breaks gives you a chance to rest your eyes, blink more often, and replace the tear film that evaporated while you were reading.
#8. I will remind myself to blink when I’m on the phone.
We sometimes stare into space when we talk on the phone. Some patients cope by keeping their eyes closed whenever they’re on the phone. That might work for some. But for others, it might work best to remember to blink.
#7. I will touch my eyes only immediately after washing my hands.
Dry eye patients tend to touch their eyes a lot. For some, there are endless eye drops, ointments, or warm compresses. For others, there are contact or scleral lenses. Whatever the reason, make a vow to always wash your hands first. Introducing bacteria into or around the eye is the last thing you want when you’re already suffering with Dry Eye.
#6. I won’t panic if I feel a new symptom.
The eyes have the highest concentration of nerves – 300 to 600 times more than any other part of the body. The tiniest spec of makeup or a particle of dust can feel like a boulder. So it’s no wonder that, as our condition changes, our eyes feel different things. Don’t panic. But do tell your doctor what’s going on so the new symptom can be evaluated and treated if necessary.
#5. I will be kind to other Dry Eye patients.
We see all too often Dry Eye patients attacking other Dry Eye patients on social media and other public forums. This saddens us to no end. Remember, we’re all just patients, suffering with Dry Eye symptoms. And every patient deserves compassion and understanding. So vow to be kind to other patients. You never know who might be suffering from so much pain that they’re thinking about ending it all.
#4. I will tell my doctor what’s going on.
No doctor is clairvoyant. It’s imperative that doctor’s know what’s going so they can take appropriate steps to help you. Only you can tell your doctor what’s really going on.
#3. I will describe my symptoms very specifically.
This is a variation of #4 above, because doctors really aren’t clairvoyant. If you say, “my eyes feel awful,” your doctor won’t be able to help you much. But if you say, “there a stabbing pain in my right eye, lower lid, outer corner, and my lid margins burn,” your doctor may have a very good idea about what’s going on. With that information, she’ll be able to diagnose and help you.
#2. I will not give up until I achieve comfort in my eyes.
This really could have been our #1 New Year’s resolution for Dry Eye patients, because so many of us struggle to achieve comfort. The fact is, many of us were in very bad shape once. But we didn’t give up. And we’re here to tell our stories of hope. We speak from experience when we say that it’s important to persevere and not give up!
And now our #1 New Year’s resolution for Dry Eye patients.
#1. I will learn everything I can about my condition.
Knowledge is a crucial tool on the journey to healing. It’s like water in a hiker’s canteen. It nourishes and refreshes. It gives strength. When the canteen is empty, it’s not so good.
When you drink in knowledge, you give yourself power. You become the master of your own destiny. You have the means – the nourishment – to achieve your goal.
When you learn how the eyes work, what a blink does, what your eyes secrete, and then you learn about your symptoms – what they mean and how they can be treated – you’re moving out of a position of weakness and into a position of power.
With knowledge, you can ask your doctors better questions and discuss your treatment plan. You’ll have the confidence to think about your symptoms – carefully and thoughtfully. What’s causing them? How long will they last? Can you do something about them at home right now? Anything? Why or why not?
Knowledge is Power
When you learn about Dry Eye, you’ll begin to understand that you aren’t alone. There are others out there just like you. And the more we all collectively know about the disease, the better patients and patient advocates we will be.
And there’s no excuse for not learning about Dry Eye. There is plenty of free information on this website to empower anyone who is interested and willing to learn. We’ve even provided an audio button so that Dry Eye sufferers don’t have to read. So no excuses, from patients, their families and friends, and even doctors.
Knowing a lot about a disease — any disease — transforms a patient into a partner in their own health care. There’s a saying, “Knowledge is power.” Seize the power. It’s right here at your finger tips.
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