Winter can be very challenging. If you suffer from dry eyes; Dry, cool air, cold winds, and indoor heating can cause eye irritation, burning, itchiness and redness, and sometimes even excessively watery eyes- as reflex tears are produced to compensate for the dryness. Many people have a feeling that they have something in their eye and some even experience blurred vision.
Dry eye is one of the most common complaints we get from patients during the winter months. That’s why we’d like to share some ways on how to relieve dry eye discomfort, and how to know when your condition is serious enough to come in for an office visit.
Relieving Winter Dry Eyes:
- Keep eyes comfortable by using artificial tear drops. You can apply these a few times each day when the eyes are feeling dry or irritated. If over-the-counter drops don’t help or if you have chronic dry eyes, ask us to help find the best drops for you. Knowing the cause of your dry eye will help your eye doctor determine which brand is best suited for your eyes.
- Use a humidifier to counteract the drying effects of indoor heaters or generally dry air.
- Avoid direct air blowing on your eyes. Try to keep your distance from forced air heating.
- Drink a lot of water. Hydrating your body will also hydrate your eyes.
- Protect your eyes outdoors with sunglasses or goggles. Larger wrap-around glasses as well as a hat with a wide brim will keep the wind and other elements out of your eyes.
- Soothe dry eyes using a warm compress, followed by lid massage.
- Give your eyes a break from your digital devices. People blink less during screen time which is why extensive computer use can lead to dry eyes.
* Follow the 20/20/20 rule by taking a break every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds and make sure you squeeze blink if your eyes feel sandy and grainy.
- If you wear contact lenses, dry eyes can be particularly problematic as the contacts can cause more dryness and irritation. Contact lens rewetting drops can help your eyes feel better. Many people find dry eye improvement when they switch to a quality single use contact lens.
If you have any questions whether your symptoms are actually from dry eye disease, schedule an appointment with us today! We have new technology in our Lipiscan and Lipiflow, that can better diagnose the type, severity, and progression of your dry eye. This allows us to customize your dry eye treatment protocol for a more effective resolution.