Do you notice that your eyes feel irritated and dry all winter? Do you live in or travel to colder climates?
One of the most common things people complain about in the winter is dry eye. Winter paired with the colder air outdoors and the dry air indoors can be the perfect storm.
Who wouldn’t suffer from uncomfortable eyes? If you already have dry eye syndrome, these situations can make your dry eye symptoms even worse. Chronic dry eye occurs when the eyes produce a low quality tear film. This affects both the quality and quantity of tears produced.
Being around harsh weather can decrease the natural moisture in your eyes. The irritation you feel is usually a burning or itching sensation.
When your eyes feel like this, you are more likely to scratch or rub your eyes. Although it may feel good for a few seconds, rubbing your eyes only makes your dry eye worse.
For some individuals, it can feel like there is something in the eye even if there is nothing there. It may seem counterintuitive, but you may experience excess tear production with dry eye as well.
This is your eyes trying to make more tears to balance out the lack of high-quality ones. If you do not treat your dry eye, it can cause blurry vision, among other painful symptoms.
No matter what, dry eyes can make the winter months very uncomfortable for your eyes. Here are 6 tips to reduce dry eye this winter!
1. Keep Your Eyes Moist
In the winter, you should use artificial tears or eye drops to keep your eyes moist. You can do this a few times a day. Talk to your doctor about which type you should use for the best results.
2. Stay Hydrated
Drinking lots of water during winter helps keep your body hydrated and your eyes moist. Hydration is key for eye comfort. If your eyes feel dry, it’s a sign you’re not drinking enough water.
3. Use A Humidifier
If you spend a lot of time in heated indoor spaces, you should use a humidifier to put moisture back into the air. This will help your eyes and skin stay moist. Put humidifiers in the rooms that you spend the most time in, like your bedroom or living room.
4. Stay Away From Fans And Heaters
If there is a heater or fan blowing near you, try to move or angle it away from you. Even though a fire can be relaxing, make sure to stay far enough away that it does not dry out your eyes.
5. Reduce Screen Time
While we use screens for many things, you should try to reduce the amount of time you spend looking at them. Looking at screens for a long amount of time reduces the number of times you blink, which dries out your eyes.
Blinking is a natural way to moisturize your eyes. If you’ve been looking at a screen for several hours, this is a good opportunity to take a break to blink!
6. Do Not Rub Your Eyes
Rubbing our eyes is a natural reaction when they feel uncomfortable. It may be a natural reaction, but you should avoid doing it at all costs. It will only increase the irritation and can cause infections if your hands are not clean.
Following these tips will help you enjoy winter without having uncomfortable eyes.
Do you need help treating your dry eye? The above tips can help, but they may not be enough to treat the cause of your dry eye.
Schedule an appointment at Omaha Eye & Laser Institute in Omaha, NE! This is the perfect time to get your eyes in their best shape before the new year!