The arrival of winter season can spell bad news when it comes to winter dry eyes and the unpleasant side effects this can bring. Later, we are going to share some tips to help avoid dry eyes during winter, leaving you to concentrate on the many wonderful activities that arrive in our lives at this time of the year. Prevention versus cure is an age-old argument, though medical practitioners may disagree since ‘cures’ form part of their earnings potential.
From One Extreme to the Other
The reality is that along with cold winter temperatures come cold, irritating winds that immediately sting winter dry eyes. When we step back indoors, temperatures resembling a blast from a furnace take us to the other end of the spectrum adding to the confusion. These dramatic swings in the ambient temperature can result in pain and misery for those of us with sensitive eyes.
Winter Dry Eyes Symptoms
Winter dry eyes are mainly the result of colder weather arrives. Your eyes feel uncomfortable, scratchy, and may even sting or burn, causing extreme discomfort. Telltale signs include:
- Fatigued eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Excess tear flow
- Excess mucus in either eye
- Red eyes for no apparent reason
- Feeling of a foreign object in the eye
- Sensitivity to environmental smoke or wind
Health warning: Extreme reactions include blurred vision, exacerbated by long periods of intense focus. If any of the above describes your situation, book an appointment with your eye doctor soonest.
4 Tips for Avoiding Winter Dry Eyes
With winter dry eyes in focus, we need to remember that each of us is different, with age, health, and lifestyle. These factors affect not just our eyes but also our general health. These tips should steer you well clear of this unwanted nuisance, but be sure to consult with your eye health practitioner first:
- Blinking Breaks – Winter dry eyes can result from the excess time you spend in front of a screen/monitor. You probably blink less than 50 percent of the required rate to ensure sufficient distribution of tear solution across the eye surface. This is commonly known as digital eye strain.
- Heat Matters – Excessive heat in your household or at work can result in tear film evaporation. Tearing is vital to your body’s defense measure in keeping your eyes hydrated.
- Be Eye Drop wise – Stay away from drops that claim to provide redness relief because they are more irritating. Artificial tears lubricant ointments are effective and safe to use up to four times a day. Opt for preservative-free tears that you can use as often as you need.
- Take Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Fish oil supplements help improve the health of the glands, the quality of tear film and thin out the oil gland secretions. While it could take up to 3 months to see any improvement, aim for 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams a day. Remember to ask your eye surgeon or a nutritionist for a reputable brand.
Common Sense Precautions to Avoid Winter Dry Eyes
The good news is that no matter the weather inside or out, you can still find relief from dry winter eyes with the above tips on offer. Remember to book your annual eye health check with your Optometrist, and have a blinking good winter!