Wintertime may bring visible changes to our outer world. We may see more cloudy skies and even some snow here and there. While there is no denying what we can see through this season of the year, the invisible changes may be much trickier. For many, winter can quickly become the season of dry eyes. This can happen because the cold outdoor air is also dry.
When we come indoors for a reprieve, the warm, heated air is also dry. With all that dryness in the air, the eyes may respond in not-so-cheery ways.
Here, we suggest a few ways to prevent this from happening.
Pick up a new fashion accessory. When we’re outdoors, many of us wear sunglasses to shield the eyes from harmful UV rays. However, if eyeglasses are not functionally necessary, we do not wear glasses indoors. Glasses of any kind protect the eyes from wind, debris, and dryness. Check out nonprescription styles for wintertime wear.
Stay hydrated. We are much more mindful about staying hydrated when the weather is hot and humid. But when it’s cold outside, all bets are off. The problem with this is the effect that dehydration can have on the eyes. To prevent dry eye, it is important to drink plenty of water. Herbal teas are also appropriate but not as a complete replacement for good old H20.
Be prepared. Sometimes, the troubling symptoms of dry eye can come on without any warning. A scratchy sensation may quickly morph into sticky moisture, redness, burning, and blurry vision that does not correct with blinking. In such cases, it is vital to have lubricating eye drops handy. A few drops in each eye, followed by a few minutes with the eyes closed, can provide significant relief.
Rest the eyes. We cannot stress enough how important it is to give the eyes a break from digital screens. When looking at a screen, or even a good book, we do a lot less blinking that is necessary for an adequate tear film. If you work on a computer, take a few minutes every hour to just sit back and close the eyes. Also, be mindful about blinking rather than staring at the screen.
Pamper the eyes. When you have a few minutes of downtime, place a moist, warm washcloth over your eyes. This is a proven remedy that soothes irritation and promotes a healthy tear film.
Preventing and quickly treating dry eyes can keep you merry all season long. For help with dry eye syndrome or to schedule your annual eye exam, call our Sterling office at 540.722.6200.