Winter is quickly approaching and this can be a difficult time for people who suffer from dry eyes. Even people who do not suffer from chronic dry eyes can experience seasonal discomfort in the dryer winter season. This is caused by less humidity in the air, especially indoors with heating systems running. It can also be caused by windier weather conditions. Here are some tips to provide you with dry eye relief this winter.
How do you know your eyes are dry?
Typical dry eye symptoms include redness, itchiness, and irritation of the eyes. You may also experience blurred vision or eye fatigue. More severe cases can result in eye pain and headaches.
People often experience dry eye symptoms in the winter due to the lack of humidity in the air. Others may have chronic dry eye syndrome and can suffer from dry eyes no matter the external conditions. Discuss with your optometrist to find which category you fall under.
What are some ways to relieve dry eye symptoms?
- Artificial Tears – Over-the-counter artificial tears can help with occasional dry eye symptoms. If you are a chronic dry eye sufferer, you should talk to an optometrist about prescription tears.
- Omega-3 – Adding more Omega-3 to your diet has been shown to improve dry eye symptoms. You can find Omega-3 in fish like salmon or mackerel, or you can take fish oil supplements.
- Humidifiers – Dry eyes worsen in the winter due to the lack of humidity in the air, especially indoors. When you have your heating system running, it’s also a good idea to have a humidifier in the room to return moisture to the air. Be sure to clean the humidifier regularly to avoid bacteria build-up.
- Warm Compress – When experiencing severe dry eye discomfort, try a warm compress over your eyes. You can purchase a compress specifically for dry eyes, or simply soak a towel in warm water and put it over your eyes for about eight to ten minutes.
When to see an optometrist.
If you are suffering from dry eye symptoms and none of these over-the-counter options are working for you, please see an optometrist. Whether your symptoms are seasonal or chronic, an optometrist will work with you to find a personalized treatment plan that works for you. If you’d like to make an appointment with Moffatt Eye Care, please get in touch today.