It’s common for your eyes to feel slightly more uncomfortable in winter. It’s more prevalent for your eyes to feel too dry during this time, as air tends to be drier in the winter.
If you have dry eyes, they may feel inflamed, itchy, watery, and gritty. Most people get dry eyes sometimes, but if your eyes are constantly dry, no matter the season, it could be because of dry eye syndrome.
Whether you have dry eye syndrome or your eyes get drier due to winter temperatures, there are ways to make your eyes more comfortable during this holiday season. Keep reading to discover how to conquer dry eyes and prevent them from standing in the way of your holidays!
Protect Your Eyes
When you go outside any time of year, you should wear sunglasses. Harmful UV rays from sunlight can harm your eyes and contribute to dry eyes no matter how cold it is outside.
You should always wear high-quality sunglasses that block out at least 99% of UV rays. You can also protect your eyes from cold, dry air and wind by limiting your time outside when it’s especially cold.
If it’s below freezing, it’s important not to spend too long outside as it can negatively affect many aspects of your health, including your eyes.
The best thing to do is stay bundled up and try not to stay outside in the cold air too long!
Protect Your Home from Dry Air
Even indoors in the winter, you may be in a dry environment. To stay warm, you may use heating vents during the winter.
Hot air used by heating vents can dry out your eyes, making them feel irritated. You can avoid dry air indoors by using a humidifier.
You can also avoid sitting or sleeping near heating vents for extended periods.
Hydrate and Eat Right
You need to drink plenty of water even when it’s cold out. Dehydration can contribute to dry eyes, along with other negative consequences to your health.
To have good tear production, you need to be hydrated. You also need to be getting proper nutrients in your diet.
Poor nutrition can cause several issues with your eyes’ health, including dry eyes. To avoid these issues, eat food with nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, folate, zinc, and other vitamins.
These foods include fatty fish, seeds, walnuts, dark, leafy greens, beans, and citrus fruits. You can also take nutritional supplements like fish oil or flaxseed oil pills. However, to get the most nutrients possible, you should try to eat the foods as much as possible rather than relying on supplements.
Keep Your Eyes Clean
Too much bacteria in and around your eyes tends to cause inflammation, leading to dry eyes. An excellent way to prevent and combat inflammation is following proper eyelid hygiene.
You can do this by making sure your eyelids are clean. You can practice good lid hygiene by using a wet compress over your closed eyes or over-the-counter eyelid wipes.
Artificial tears can also help keep your eyes well-lubricated and flush out bacteria. But talk to your eye doctor before developing any intensive lid hygiene routine.
See Your Eye Doctor
You should make an appointment to see your eye doctor if you have dry eye symptoms that don’t go away on their own or after trying these simple home remedies and lifestyle changes. Persistent dry eye symptoms are often a sign of dry eye syndrome.
Dry eye syndrome is a prevalent condition, especially in older individuals and women going through pregnancy or menopause. Patients with certain inflammatory skin conditions also are at increased risk for dry eye syndrome.
But anyone of any age, sex, and medical history can develop the condition. Left untreated, dry eye syndrome can lead to infections and corneal ulcers, which can then cause corneal scarring.
Corneal scarring permanently damages your eyes and can cause significant visual impairment. It’s essential to receive a dry eye syndrome diagnosis to alleviate your symptoms and preserve your vision.
Dry Eye Syndrome Treatment
Once your eye doctor can take samples of your tears and examine your eyes, they can diagnose you with dry eye syndrome and recommend treatment. Usually, they’ll start by recommending over-the-counter medications and home remedies. But if those aren’t effective, there are some professional treatments they can give you:
Prescription eye drops are often given to patients with dry eye syndrome. These eye drops usually lower inflammation and aid in tear production.
Using these medications can cause significant relief from dry eye syndrome symptoms for many patients. However, there are more intensive treatment options if medication alone isn’t effective.
LipiFlow is a non-invasive therapy offered at Loden Vision Centers. It uses gentle heat and pressure to soften blocked meibomian glands.
The meibomian glands produce the oil that forms a protective layer around your tears. When the glands are blocked, your tears lack protection, evaporating too quickly on the surface of your eye.
This is called meibomian gland dysfunction, one of the more common underlying causes of dry eye syndrome. By softening hardened oil backing up these glands, LipiFlow can get the glands flowing again, alleviating your dry eye symptoms.
This minor surgical procedure can be used in severe cases of dry eye syndrome. The procedure inserts tiny plugs into the puncta, which are the tear ducts on the inside corner of your eyes near your nose.
By blocking off these ducts, your tears cannot drain, forcing them to stay on the eye’s surface longer. Extending how long the tears stay on your eye can compensate for poor tear quality.
If you have dry eye symptoms, don’t let them ruin your holidays. Instead, take charge by requesting an appointment at Loden Vision Centers in Nashville, TN, to see one of our specialists and get the relief you need!