18 Jul Dry Eyes in Winter
Winter can be a harsh season for our skin and it can also affect the eyes. During the winter months, dry eyes are a common occurrence. Cold winds and dry air, coupled with dry indoor heating tend to result in dry eye.
Dry eyes are in short a result caused by a lack of sufficient tears. Tears are a complex mixture of water, fatty oils and mucus. This mixture helps make the surface of your eyes smooth and clear, and it helps protect your eyes from infection.
Symptoms of dry eyes:
- Eye redness
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision or eye fatigue
- Difficulty with nighttime driving
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
- A sensation of having something in your eyes
- A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
- Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
A few ways to help manage dry eye in winter
Keeping properly hydrated is one of the best things you can do to combat dry eye. When the body is dehydrated, tear production is reduced and can run the risk of making clinical dry eye worse. Make it a point to drink lots of water and other liquids throughout the day.
Spending more time indoors during winter in a heated space is normal but remember to combat the dried out air by adding some moisture back into the air with a humidifier.
Avoid rubbing your eyes, even if they are itchy. Rubbing your eyes increases the irritation and can also lead to an infection.
Remember the 20/20 rule – every 20 minutes, look away for 20 seconds. Ideally look to the furthest point from where you are. Staring at a computer or digital device for extended amounts of time can further dry out your eyes.
You should seek medical attention from an optician or ophthalmologist if you have experienced prolonged signs and symptoms of dry eyes, including red, irritated, tired or painful eyes.