Cooler weather and drier indoor conditions call for special care to protect your eyes this winter.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 3.2 million women and 1.7 million men over the age of 50 are affected by dry eye syndrome. While this condition can get worse as you age, patients who don’t protect their eyes properly may be putting themselves at risk as well.
During the winter, preventing dry eye can be especially challenging. Colder conditions outside and higher heat indoors mean that it’s common to experience burning or itching sensations in your eyes. Left untreated, dry eyes can lead to blurred vision and long-term adverse health effects.
Instead, take steps to keep your eyes properly hydrated and protected. By following these tips, you can make it through the colder months and enjoy your favorite winter activities without unpleasant dry eye symptoms.
Use Eye Drops
Keeping your eyes moist is a must if you’re going to avoid dry eye. With eye drops, you can replace your eyes’ natural moisture with artificial drops
However, it’s always a good idea to consult with an eye care specialist when choosing the best eye drops for you. For example, you may want to look into preservative-free eye drops so that you can use them as many times as you need without irritation.
While this may seem like a no-brainer, remember to drink plenty of fluids during the winter. People may not consider the risks of dehydration during the colder months, so this makes it especially important to stay hydrated. Plus, drinking plenty of water will help your eyes stay as moist as possible.
Buy a Humidifier
During the winter, indoor heating can sap the moisture out of the air. Since we spend more time indoors during the colder months, your eyes are at heightened risk of drying out.
Humidifiers are a great way to put moisture back into the air. Whether you need to keep your bedroom or your office from getting too dry, your eyes will be getting the moisture they need.
Be Careful Outdoors
Colder months can bring intense weather conditions that pose risks to your eyes. In extreme cold, for example, it’s especially important to wear some kind of protection, such as goggles or sunglasses, while walking outdoors or doing your favorite winter activities. In addition, consider wearing a hat with a visor so that you can keep wind, precipitation, and the sun out of your eyes.
Mind Heat Sources
We all want to stay warm when the temperature drops, but heat sources near your eyes can quickly dry them out. For instance, direct the vents in your car away from your face and don’t sit or stand too close to heaters or radiators in your home. If your eyes are exposed for too long, you run the risk of sapping their natural moisture.
Consult with an Eye Care Specialist
If you’re experiencing itchy, dry, or burning eyes, make sure you check in with an experienced eye care specialist.
By scheduling a consultation at the Swagel Wootton Eye Institute, you can speak one-on-one with a trained professional about your dry eyes. Our eye care specialists can work with you so that your eyes are protected and comfortable this winter.