While most people are familiar with the effects cooler weather can have on their skin, some people find the dry, cool air and low temperatures particularly troublesome for their eyes as well, leading to dryness and irritation. If you have dry eyes that are exacerbated by winter conditions, there are steps you can take to manage and prevent discomfort during the cooler months.
Below, Dr. Raymond Stein discusses five tips for keeping your eyes healthy, moist, and comfortable during winter.
1. Frequent Blinking
Although we do it automatically, engaging in intentional and frequent blinking may help your case of dry eyes. When you blink, tears are spread over the outer front portion of the eye, which can improve eye moisture. Blinking helps the eyes stay lubricated, nourished, and healthy.
2. Artificial Tears
Another great tip when your eyes get dry in the winter is to engage in the use of artificial tears. While natural tears are nearly always best, artificial tears can step in to replenish moisture when your eyes are having trouble producing enough fluid, such as during high winds in the winter. Over-the-counter eye drops and artificial tears are convenient, easily accessible, and can be used often throughout the day.
It is important to note that you should not use artificial tears for long-term relief since, over time, they can begin to exacerbate dry eye symptoms.
3. Remove Excess Oil
You may have noticed at one time or another that your eyelids can look greasy throughout the day. You should know that the eyelids contain glands that secrete oil, also known as meibum. This oil helps keep the tear film healthy. Remove excess oil to help keep the glands from becoming clogged.
4. Apply A Warm Compress
A warm compress can soothe the eyes and help relieve dry eye symptoms. This is also especially helpful for unblocking clogged oil glands, which can contribute to eye dryness. A great tip is to make applying a warm compress part of your nightly routine to get the most benefit.
5. Use A Humidifier
Winter often calls for the use of heating sources, such as the ones in our vehicles. The problem is that the dry heat can make dry eye symptoms even worse. Using a humidifier can help prevent your eyes from drying out. Humidifiers can easily fit into your life and schedule. They can be used nightly as part of your bedtime regimen, as well as during the day at work, where desktop humidifiers can help keep your eyes comfortable.
Dry Eye Relief
One of the best tips for managing dry eyes is to visit an eye doctor. Dr. Stein can help treat dry and irritated eye symptoms that are disruptive to your life. He will discuss various treatment options that may be right for you. If you are ready to find relief from dry eyes, contact Dr. Stein for a consultation today.