Use these tips to prevent and treat dry eyes this winter

Winter is a time for warm fires, cocoa and cozy blankets. With the decrease in outdoor temperatures and the increase in indoor heating, winter is also a time of dry skin and eyes.

What causes dry eyes in winter

When your eyes do not produce enough tears, they become dry.

Winter is characterized by cold temperatures, low pressure and strong winds. Air that is cold holds less moisture, resulting in low humidity levels.

Indoor heating is used to warm our homes and offices, but it doesn’t add moisture back into air. So humidity levels remain low.

Water evaporates more rapidly in low humidity. The skin and eyelids lose moisture faster than they can replenish it. This can cause feelings of tightness and dryness as well as irritation and itchiness.

The cold temperatures can also reduce blood flow and cause dry eyes. It may feel as if your eyes are burning.

Dry Eyes in Winter

You may experience the following symptoms if you suffer from dry eyes during winter:

  • Stinging or burning sensation in the eye
  • Redness
  • Itching or irritation
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Eye fatigue
  • Contact lenses are difficult to wear
  • Feeling something in your eye
  • Excessive tear production (an overreaction response)

How to prevent and treat dry eyes

There are many ways to relieve or prevent dry eye in winter.

Here’s a list of some of the best options:

  • Humidifier : A humidifier can add moisture to your office or home air, which will help to reduce the dryness of your skin and your eyes.
  • Artificial Tears: These eye drops are available over the counter and can help relieve dryness.
  • Warm compressions: Applying warm compresses to your face will help stimulate blood circulation and tear production, and reduce irritation and discomfort.
  • Blink more: Blinking facilitates the movement of tears. Blink more often, especially while reading or using the computer. This will help to keep your eyes lubricated.
  • Use glasses instead of contact lenses: By switching to glasses, you can reduce irritation and drying caused by contacts.
  • Avoid harsh product: Do not use harsh products around your eyes. They can cause dryness.
  • Prescription medication: Your doctor may prescribe medications to relieve dry eye symptoms in some cases.

It is important that you consult your doctor if your symptoms persist or worsen. It may be that there is some damage to the eye or an underlying condition which requires further testing and treatment.