December 22, 2022
Winter brings many environmental changes that can affect our bodies, such as drier conditions. For example, your skin may feel rough and your hands may crack. Another body part that may be affected by these changes is your eyes. It is common for people to experience dry eyes during the winter.
A common misconception is that seasonal dry eyes only occur during spring when there are pollen and other allergens in the air. However, dry eye in winter is also quite common. While the causes may differ from those of dry eye during spring, the symptoms are similar. The treatment includes both common dry eye relief options and environmental control options.
So, how can you manage dry eye during colder weather?
These are a popular and common form of dry eye management because they provide instant relief from symptoms. Artificial tears mimic the structure and composition of natural tears and help restore moisture to your eyes. The leading cause of dry eyes is usually poor tear quality or insufficient tears, and artificial tears can help with either or both of these issues. However, it is important to use them sparingly to avoid irritating your eyes.
If your eyes are feeling irritable due to dry eye, you can use a warm compress to provide relief. Simply dip a cloth in warm water and place it over your eyes.
Eye ointments are another way to help manage dry eyes because they lubricate the eyes. However, they are thicker than artificial tears and may cause blurry vision if used in the morning. It is best to use eye ointments at night before going to sleep.
The low temperatures of winter often require us to use air conditioning, which can remove moisture from the air and contribute to dry eye. A humidifier can help restore moisture to the air and improve dry eye symptoms caused by low humidity. However, it is important to clean the humidifier regularly to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground for bacteria.
Sometimes, dry eye can be caused by dehydration. It is not uncommon to experience dehydration in cold weather, so it is important to drink plenty of water throughout the day, even when you are not feeling thirsty.
High winds during the winter can worsen dry eye symptoms. To protect your eyes, consider wearing eyeglasses when going outside.
For more information on managing dry eye during colder weather, visit Eye Associates of New York at our office in New York, New York. Call (212) 650-4888 to book an appointment today.