How to Ease Dry Eyes in Winter

Like it or not, dry eye season is here. Between the frigid winter winds outside and the dry heat radiating inside, our eyes become quickly irritated this time of year. These dry atmospheres can cause sudden moisture evaporation in the eyes in which our tear glands cannot produce enough fluid to keep our eyes hydrated. This results in irritated, itchy, dry eyes that can cause pain, blurred vision, or a burning sensation.

While it’s difficult to avoid dry eyes in the winter, there a few steps you can take to ensure your eyes stay as healthy of possible into the new year:

Humidify Your Home

During the winter, your home’s humidity level will drop, making it hard for your eyes to stay lubricated. By using a humidifier, you can help restore the humidity to the air allowing more moisture to the eyes. If you travel a lot, leaving the fan off in the bathroom while you shower is a quick way to add moisture back into the air.

Protect Your Eyes

When you are participating in outdoor activities, or maybe just out for a Sunday stroll, make sure you are protecting your eyes accordingly. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes against the wind and damaging UV rays. Wear an athletic mask or goggles when participating in outdoor activities to help protect your eyes from harsh winter elements.

Heat the Air Around You

Whether you are getting into a chilly car or sitting right next to a heater, your first instinct may be to blast the heat until your body and face warm up. However, sitting directly in front of an air vent on high is blasting direct heat to your eyes. This can quickly cause your eyes to become dry and irritated. Instead, heat the air around you or even turn on your seat warmers in the car.

Stay Hydrated

Even mild dehydration in the winter can negatively affect the moisture in your eyes. Make sure you are drinking enough water and increase your intake of fluid-rich foods such as soup, fresh fruit, and dairy products.

Take Care of Your Contacts

During cold weather, your eyes can dry out even more if you wear contacts. Make sure you clean and take proper care of your contacts to reduce itching and possible infection.

Use Eye Drops

During the winter, your eyes may be irritated by the cold, wind, or dry air due to the lack of moisture. To prevent chronic dry eye – a condition that typically causes irritation, burning, and constant scratching of the eyes, you should use eye drops to help keep them lubricated.

For more information on how to protect your eyes during the winter, contact Vision Associates at 419-578-2020. Our eye doctors can prescribe remedies for chronic dry eye and recommend unique sunglasses or face gear to protect your eyes.

 

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