Having dry eyes during the winter months is one of the most common symptoms that people deal with. It is also a pretty common thing to experience throughout the year too. Dry eyes can come from weather like cold and high winds blowing in your face to indoor heating which people use during the colder months.
There are a few symptoms that can be seen when you get dry eyes, this can include eyes that are itchy, sore, gritty, irritated or red, and even sensitivity to light. You can also get blurry vision or experience more watery eyes than what is normal to you. The reasons you could be showing signs and symptoms is because your glands aren’t producing enough tears to stay moist, drying up too fast, or your tears are not effectively wetting your eyes.
Doctors may recommend various ways to treat your dry eyes. Treatment will also depend on the reasons why they are drying out and how bad they have become. It is important to know if you have any common or rare allergies that could be causing it.
Best Ways to Treat
This list will go through some of the easiest and fastest ways to cure your dry eyes during the winter or throughout the year:
Humidifiers for Indoors
You may find it shocking to know that there are many ways to dry your eyes that have simple causes. You can get dry eyes from little to no humidity in your household or in the air. I use a humidifier in my house because it lessens the chance of me having a dry throat, eyes, and skin. It is important to know that if you have one in your home, you need to clean it on a regular basis to ensure that bacteria will not build up because it is a common reason why your eyes become irritated.
What If I Don’t Have Access To A Humidifier?
Whether you can’t afford a humidifier at the moment or just don’t have the ability to get one, you can use this option which can work just as well. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you can place a tray or pan of water close to a heater or radiator and it will work as a makeshift humidifier.
Another option a doctor may suggest is OTC medication like artificial tears. Basically, they will mimic your natural tears to moisten the eyes without having to get a prescription. You have many options that you can buy, but I recommend trying a few different types to see what works best for you. For example, someone who has contact lenses will need a specific kind of eye drop.
This is just one example of an eye drop medication that will work well for someone with issues when it comes to dry eyes. Biotrue Hydration Boost Lubricant contains glycerin which is a moisturizer that is naturally found in tears. This means it will work instantaneously and get your eyes moistened up in no time and reduce irritation. Biotrue also recently launched the Biotrue Hydration Boost Contact Lens Rehydration Drop. It adds instant moisture and comfort to dry uncomfortable lenses.
These wipes gently clean and hydrates your eye area.
Making sure to drink water and other fluids is a sure way to maintain hydration in your body as well as your eyes. You may not feel as though you need water during the cold months, but its important to keep your membranes hydrated. Of course, water is a go-to fluid to drink, but other options can include, fresh fruit or fruit juices, herbal tea, etc.
Screen Time Management
It is very normal for us to be on their phones, laptops, iPads, TV’s, etc. at all times throughout the day, week, and even year. And, although, most of the time they can be used for work or school purposes, it is still important to manage your screen time.
It is a must to take breaks during screen time because when you are sitting in front of a screen it will cause you to blink a lot less which means it is less likely that you will have tears to moisten your eyes.
How To Manage Screen Time?
Remember the 20*20*20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
It is best to try and have breaks every 20 minutes or so. Try to gaze at an object about 20 or more feet away from you for approximately 20 seconds to encourage blinking. I know it is very easy to become distracted with what’s going on, on your screen. So, if you need to, I recommend setting a timer. If using this rule is hard for you or you just can’t seem to manage your time, you can make an appointment with your physician to see what else you can do to help or try the options I have provided you.
Protecting Your Eyes
It is always a good idea to keep a pair of protective glasses on hand. This can help avoid any dryness that can be caused by the sun or heavy winds during the winter. You can also use a hat with a visor for more protection.
Avoid Sitting in Front of Heat
It is best to avoid direct contact with heat.This is more for those who are in their cars often or have heaters where they sleep or sit for work, etc.
The heat or even defroster from your car or indoors can hit your face and contribute to your dry eyes. If you find yourself near an open fire for camping, heat in your household or other purposes, try to shield your eyes with protective gear or distance yourself.
Another Reason is Menopause
Yes ladies, one more thing in life we can attribute to menopause. Did you know that women are more likely to develop dry eye symptoms due to hormonal changes caused by menopause?
Tis the season for being on the go during the holidays and visiting our loved ones. If you are going to be on a plane, make sure to take along a couple of the eyelid wipes as well as the drops! I don't know about you but every time I fly, my eyes get so dried out.