With winter making its gradual approach, you may be noticing that your eyes are getting drier. Unfortunately, your skin isn’t the only thing that feels the effects of cold weather. Just like cold weather dries out skin, making it itchy and uncomfortable, it can do the same to your eyes.
That’s due to the increase in dry air indoors and outdoors during the winter months. It’s this lack of moisture that makes the surface of your eyes drier, leading to irritation, itching and discomfort. If you wear contact lenses or if you have chronic allergies, you’re at a higher risk for dry eyes.
Here are eight tips for preventing or soothing dry eyes in winter:
- Blink Often. Blinking will redistribute and establish a tear film over the front of the eye, which will improve lubrication, comfort and vision.
- Use Artificial Tears or Eye Drops. These will keep the eye moistened. You can choose from many over-the-counter gels, drops or lubricants to resolve such minor irritations. Just don’t use eye drops that say they’ll remove redness, as these work by constricting the blood vessels temporarily. If you use them over and over again, you can actually aggravate your eyes more.
- Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes. Frequent rubbing of the eyes can result in inflammation, affecting the quality of tears and causing painful corneal abrasions.
- Get a Prescription. Your eye doctor can prescribe stronger treatment if you are experiencing a very severe case of dry eye.
- Use Warm Compresses. This will soothe the eyes and ease discomfort.
- Use a Humidifier. This will add moisture to the air – moisture that has been robbed from your home by the dry air of winter. Don’t forget to empty the water collection tank and replace the filter regularly.
- Wear Sunglasses. Always don sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes against UV rays and wind. Keep a pair in your car if you tend to forget to bring them with you. This way, you’ll never be without them, especially on bright sunny days.
- Wear a Mask or Visor When Playing Sports. If you participate in outdoor activities, wear an athletic mask, visor or goggles to protect your eyes from the weather and jabs from elbows.
Contact Simon Eye Associates
If you seem to have dry eyes all the time, and not just in winter, make an appointment with your eye doctor to get prescription relief to see if there is an underlying condition causing your discomfort. Simon Eye is pleased to offer the new LipiFlow® treatment for dry eye. If you do not get relief from dry eye drops, schedule a consultation to see if LipiFlow® could help your symptoms. Contact us at 302-239-1933.