Why Your Eyes May Need More Care this Winter

This winter is unlike any most people have lived through. Due to the novel coronavirus, we’re rethinking how to navigate day to day life. The last thing on our minds may be wondering why our eyes feel more irritated than usual. We understand that there are big issues to deal with this winter. At the same time, we also feel that the little things will always matter. Here, we discuss some tips for avoiding unnecessary dry eye discomfort through the coming months.

Dry Eyes Can Affect Anyone

Tears aren’t something that we have only when we cry. The eyes rely on a healthy tear film to maintain comfort and good vision. The tear film contains water, oils, and mucus. These substances are made by glands in the eyes and are spread across the ocular surface by blinking. In the winter months, when the air is particularly dry, the tear film may evaporate more quickly, leading to uncomfortable symptoms like a gritty or foreign-body sensation, blurriness, excessive tearing, and burning. When these symptoms occur frequently, we might look at the quality of the tear film. When they are limited to certain times of the year, we look at the environment.

Can Dry Eyes be Avoided?

It may not be possible to completely avoid the occasional bout of dry eye. However, certain strategies can reduce this risk. These tips can also decrease the severity of symptoms, should they occur:

  • Foster natural lubrication. The tear film is the eyes’ natural lubricant. For the body to sustain lubrication for the eyes, it draws on its reserves of water. Therefore, it is essential to make sure you drink plenty of water every day.
  • Help the environment. The primary reason the eyes dry more quickly in the wintertime is that the air is dry. We can’t do anything about this outside the home. Inside the home, however, we can add moisture to the air using a humidifier. Moist air is kinder to the eyes.
  • Close the eyes often. This can be particularly helpful at work where you may be concentrating on a computer screen or papers. Closing the eyes replenishes moisture to the ocular surface by letting it sit undisturbed for 20 to 30 seconds several times an hour if needed.
  • Use eye drops. Using eye drops on occasion can be beneficial. Just avoid products that are formulated to relieve redness. What you want is moisture. Over-the-counter eye drops can do this.

If your dry eyes persist or are not helped by these remedies, contact our office in Chester, NJ. We can help you discern the cause of your dry eyes and how to manage this problem.

Posted in: Dry Eyes

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