Do your eyes ache or hurt during the winter months? Are they tearing a lot or red? Does it feel like something is in your eye and it won’t stop? Do you sometimes blink a lot to clear the blurriness? These are common complaints and symptoms of someone suffering from dry eye.
Living in the Midwest, we get to experience some ridiculously cold temperatures and because of that, the humidity level in the air is way down. Bone dry air blowing in your face causes marginally dry eyes to become much more dry and symptoms develop. What can you do to protect your eyes?
- Wear glasses or goggles, especially if wind is an issue or if you’ll be outside awhile.
- Blink more often. This will help coat your eyes with new tears.
- Use artificial tears (lubricating drops) regularly. Bottled tears such as Systane, Optive, and Blink are available everywhere. If using them more than four times per day, get the preservative free version. It costs more but will be easier on your cornea.
- Warm compresses help the oil secreting glands in your eyelids to work better. Oily tears coat better and do not evaporate. Heating the lids will allow better flow onto the cornea and improve your “tear quality”.
If symptoms of redness, irritation, and dryness persist and are not relieved by artificial tears, you may have a more serious condition that requires an exam and treatment by your eye doctor. We will often “ramp up” treatment to obtain relief. Call us if you would like an appointment.
Dry eyes can be very annoying but solutions are available. Don’t miss out on winter activities due to this annoying but treatable problem!