5 Tips for Managing Winter Dry Eyes

An estimated 16 million Americans suffer from dry eye disease during the winter months. If you’re one of them, you know all about the annoying symptoms, such as stinging or burning sensations and feeling as though something is in your eyes.

In this blog, the highly skilled providers at the Tayani Institute share five tips for managing winter dry eyes.

Winter dry eyes explained

Let’s start off with a quick primer on eye lubrication. Eye lubrication is all about tear production, or quality tears. Adequate lubrication not only facilitates being able to see properly, but it also nourishes the eye. Tears also wash away foreign objects and help reduce the risk for eye infections.

When winter comes, the air outside often becomes drier. And as the temperature outside gets colder, we usually turn up the heat inside. This can lower the humidity inside and make the air drier. Fortunately, there are some easy fixes that can help you manage dry eye symptoms this winter. 

1. Use artificial tears

Many dry eye sufferers turn to preservative-free, over-the-counter eye drops — also called artificial tears — to help lubricate their eyes. While there are a variety of brands to choose, the purpose for each is the same: to add moisture to your eyes by mimicking natural tears. If your dry eye condition is severe, and over-the-counter artificial tears don’t work, your provider may prescribe prescription eye drops.

2. Humidify indoor air

Although you can’t control the humidity outside, you can address the environment inside. Add moisture to the air by running a whole house or room humidifier. Operating a humidifier in the bedroom may be particularly helpful, since tear production is lower when you’re sleeping.

3. Remember the 20-20-20 rule

We all spend way too much time working and playing in front of computer screens, smart phones, and televisions. Take a break from time to time and remember to blink and rest your eyes. Think 20-20-20. Every 20 minutes, stop what you’re doing and look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It may not seem like much, but these short eye breaks can make a huge difference.

4. Avoid blasting air directly into your eyes

Don’t blast portable heaters or car heaters directly into your face. It may feel great, but it can dry out your eyes. The same goes for hair dryers. Keep your eyes closed and turn your head when drying hair around your face. And if you’re outside during a windy day, consider wearing sunglasses or ski goggles or other protective eyewear.

5. Treat your eyelids to improve tear quality

Having quality tears is important. You can help improve their quality by doing two simple eye-care treatments. For the first method, close your eyes and then gently wash and rinse your eyelids with a clean washcloth and warm, soapy water. 

For the second method, periodically place a warm compress on your eyelids for a few minutes. Not only will doing these things feel great, but doing them can also help release oils in your eyelids’ glands, which can enhance the quality of your tears.

If you suffer from dry eyes and want to learn more, contact Tayani Institute for an evaluation. Our highly skilled providers will fully examine your eyes and design a treatment plan to help keep you comfortable all year long. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with the Tayani Institute today.

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