Battling Winter Dry Eyes: Things You Can Do
The most common complaint during the winter season is dry eyes
In Ontario, winter means cold temperatures and snow. However, the winter months can also bring dry eye conditions to many patients. If you notice that your eyes seem drier in the winter, you’re not alone. During this time of the year, harsh winds combined with dry indoor heating can be a recipe for dry eyes. Being exposed to these atmospheres can trigger a sudden onset of moisture evaporation in our eyes. This can lead to itchy, dry eyes that can cause pain, blurred vision, burning sensations, discomfort and watery eyes.
Combat your symptoms
- Add a humidifier to your home. Many turn the heat up in the winter months to stay warm, however this can evaporate moisture in the air quickly, which can dry out your skin and eyes.
- Hydrate! Keeping your body hydrated will also maintain the moisture in your eyes.
- Try not to sleep with a ceiling fan or other fans blowing directly on your face. In your vehicle, direct air vents away from your face.
- Take a daily Omega-3 fatty acid supplement! Omega-3s help with dry eyes and improve the quality of your tear film. However, not all Omega-3s are the same, so make sure to check with your optometrist to see
- Blink more frequently, especially when working on digital devices. Remember the 20/20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20 minute break and make several complete blinks for 20 seconds.
- Protect your eyes. If you are going to be venturing into harsh weather conditions, or doing any outdoor winter sports, make sure you wear eye protection to keep the wind and particles from getting in your eyes.
- Use a preservative free lubricating drops to maintain moisture in your eyes.
Eye Exams Are Important
It is common to get winter dry eyes in the colder months. However, if you are suffering from chronic dry eye symptoms, it is important to get your eyes checked. Your optometrist can use diagnostic tools to check how fast your tears evaporate, evaluate the quality of your oil glands, check your tear quality and quantity and more. Treatments for dry eye include warm compresses, eye drops, medication drops and advanced treatments like radiofrequency and intense pulse light.
If you have questions about lid hygiene, talk to your optometrist about what you can do at your next appointment to keep those eyelids healthy!
Call us at 519-473-3937 and schedule a comprehensive eye exam today.