As the weather starts to get colder, more people are probably wondering how to prevent dry eyes.
During fall and winter, humidity drops; and during windy days, eyes may dry even more. Cold, blustery wind irritates eyes that are already prone to dryness. Dry eyes can happen when the eyes either cannot produce enough tears or they produce low-quality tears. Seasonal changes like dryer air make chronic dry eye worse, and may also exacerbate dry eye in somebody who doesn’t typically notice a lot of symptoms.
Common symptoms of dry eye include:
- Increased light sensitivity
- Eye redness
- A sensation of foreign body in the eye
- Blurry vision & fatigued eyes
- Stinging, burning, or scratching feeling in the eye
- Contact lenses become uncomfortable
Tips on how to combat dry eye in the colder months:
- Consider using a humidifier inside. Not only does humidity drop outside, but people also turn up their heating so the air inside is even drier than the air outside. A humidifier adds soothing moisture to the air and may relieve dry eye.
- Protect your eyes when outside. Wind, UV rays, and the elements irritate dry eyes even when it’s not hot outside.
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. If cold water doesn’t appeal to you in this cool weather, try herbal tea or hot lemon or ginger tea.
- Position your furniture in a space where your radiator or heating vents do not blow directly on your face. Also, avoid sitting too close to the radiator or heating vents.
- People tend to spend more time using their computer, television, or devices during autumn and winter. Be sure to give your eyes frequent breaks since most people tend to blink less while focused on monitors or device screens.
- If you use a blow dryer, be sure to avoid pointing the hot air at your face and eyes. The same applies to any other fan or device you use that blows hot air.
- If you wear contact lenses, consider wearing them a little less frequently in the winter; because contacts tend to irritate dry eyes. Also, glasses offer a barrier between you and the wind or hot air from indoor heating.
These tips are intended to help you live an eye-healthy lifestyle. A few small habit changes as well as using lubricating eye drops can really enable you to spend your autumn and winter months enjoying yourself, not worrying about your dry eyes! However, if you suffer from severe dry eye, or are concerned about your eye health, please be sure to visit your eye doctor.
Keep your eyes nourished with high-quality eye drops:
- Eye drops for daytime
- Eye drops for night-time
*Suitable for contact lens wearers