As winter sets in and frigid temperatures sweep across the country, you may notice your eyes are getting drier. It’s common for symptoms of “dry eyes” to occur during the winter months, but just because it’s common does not make it any more comfortable. We feel your pain! Dry eyes can cause all sorts of irritation, from itching to watering. We thought we’d give you a brief overview of what causes dry eyes, and tips on what you can do to manage the symptoms, or possibly prevent them altogether.
So, what causes dry eyes?
Dry eyes can be the result of a host of conditions. During winter months, a common contributor is heating vents in the car, at work, and at home. Other factors can include anything from allergies to general eye inflammations. Even something as simple as not blinking enough when doing computer work can add to the irritation. While some people don’t produce enough mucus on the surface of the eye, some actually experience too much mucus production, which can lead to discharge. It’s important to see your eye care professional for a proper diagnosis.
What are some things you can do if you suffer from dry eyes?
- Keep the air in your home moist with a humidifier.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harsh winds and extra light.
- Stay hydrated by drinking lots of fluids, especially water.
- Use a warm compress on your eyes to help relieve the strain.
- Consider adding more Omega-3 to you diet. These fatty acids can be found in oily fish, flaxseeds, eggs and walnuts.
Still experiencing symptoms of dry eyes? Talk to your eye doctor about your symptoms. He or she can provide the best course of treatment, and determine which artificial tears, if any, would be appropriate for your specific condition.
Haven’t been to the eye doctor in a while? Click here to access our network of 38,000 doctors. Interested in vision care coverage options? We’ve got you covered as well! Browse VSP Individual Plans for individual plans for as low as $17 a month.