Dry Eye: Winter Season Tips
As Southern California is in the midst of a significant rainy season, we’d like to share some tips to keep your eyes healthy. There are many enjoyable aspects of wintertime like hot cocoa and skiing. Sadly, chapped lips and dry eye come along with that. The contrast between brisk temperatures outdoors to the dry heat inside can cause our eyes to become dehydrated quicker. Symptoms are stinging, burning and itching as your glands struggle to produce enough tears.
We’ve put together a list of things to DO and things to NOT DO during this season so that your eyes are as hydrated and healthy as possible.
- Use a humidifier: Offset the dry air in your home during the winter by using a humidifier. This will increase the home’s humidity level that can dip during the winter months. The humidity within your home should remain in the 30-55 percent range for your eyes to remain lubricated.
- Hydrate through foods: Up your intake of fluid-rich foods such as fruits, veggies, and soups throughout the winter. This will counteract the dehydration affects that can easily occur within your body. This quickly impacts the water development in the eyes.
- Get your fix of omega-3 fatty acids: Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids through food or fish oil supplements. It will help improve the quality of your eye glands that often become inflamed from the winter’s dry air.
- Use artificial tears: Using eye drops up to four times per day can provide your eyes with lubricant. Artificial tear drops can be purchased over the counter at a local drug store for mild cases of dry eyes. Dr. Weiss may prescribe prescription medication for more serious conditions.
- Do not blow heat directly at your face: We’re all guilty of instinctively blasting hot air in the car to warm up. It’s this habit that causes the eyes to dry out faster. As an alternative measure to staying warm in the car, direct the heat to the feet and window vents and use seat warmers if available.
- Do not overconsume diuretic drinks: Be mindful of your consumption of diuretic drinks throughout the winter. This includes: coffee, tea and soda, as they can speed up dehydration affects in the body leaving your eyes irritated.
Some dry eye conditions can progress and become more serious so it’s important that you maintain your regular appointments with Dr. Weiss.
We hope everyone is having a safe and fun winter season!