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Winter Dry Eye Tips

Submitted by Josh Talkington on March 8, 2018

The cooler temperatures of winter bring cool winds and dry air as well as indoor heating. For many people, battling dry eyes becomes the norm during the winter months. The natural moisture in your eyes is reduced by all the changes that come with winter. At the extreme, dry eyes can become painful and feel like there’s a foreign object lodged in your eye. Here are some tips to help you combat dry eye this winter season.

Take a Vitamin

Research has shown that Omega-3 fatty acids can help ease the discomfort of dry eyes. These three acids, eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosahexaenoic (DHA), and alpha linolenic (ALA), aren’t made in the body, so a supplement is required in order to get the recommended daily amount. Omega-3 fatty acids help with dry eyes by improving tear production and quality.

Avoid Alcohol

Alcohol is a diuretic which can contribute to dry eyes. Diuretics increase the amount of salt and water expelled from the body so they will cause your eyes, mouth, and skin to feel dry. Other common diuretics include coffee, tea, and many medications.

Drink Plenty of Fluids

Hydrate your body from the inside out by drinking lots of water and other fluids that aren’t diuretics. When your body is hydrated, your eyes will be hydrated too. The recommended daily water intake is about eight 8-ounce glasses.

Protect Your Eyes

While it’s still important to protect your eyes from the sun during the winter months, you should also protect them from harsh winter winds by wearing your sunglasses, goggles, or a hat with a brim when you are outdoors.

Wear Your Glasses

If you’re a contact lens wearer, give your eyes a break by swapping them out for your glasses. You can also talk to our optometrist, Jordan A. Pinozek, O.D.,  about finding some contacts that are more appropriate for dry eyes.

Use a Humidifier

A humidifier can help alleviate dryness inside your home. If you spend long periods of time inside your home or you notice your dry eyes are worse when you first wake up, consider investing in a humidifier.

Keep Your Hands Off

Rubbing your eyes will make your dry eyes feel worse. If your hands aren’t clean while you’re rubbing your eyes, this can lead to infections. Instead, try using moisturizing eye drops especially for dry eyes. Many brands are safe to use with contact lenses too, but be sure and check the label or ask your eye doctor.

Have you tried some of the tips above yet still struggle with dry eyes? Learn the true cause of your dry eyes and how to effectively treat them by contacting our office for an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists.