Going outdoors to enjoy the crisp cold weather, the silky smooth white snow, and picturesque views is every winter lover’s fantasy. The downside of winter is dry eye syndrome (DES), a condition that can dampen your winter fun.
Luckily, there are steps you can take to prevent or at least alleviate dry eye symptoms this winter.
How Does Dry Eye Syndrome Develop?
Dry eye syndrome develops when the eyes aren’t producing enough tears to stay lubricated, or the tears are drying up too quickly. This lack of moisture can cause the eyes to get red, irritated and itchy. If not treated, serious cases of DES can damage the cornea and even lead to permanent vision loss.
Causes of DES vary. Excessive screen time, aging, hormonal changes, certain medications and medical conditions, and LASIK surgery can result in dry eye symptoms.
So can the winds and cold dry air of winter, and the indoor heating that makes our homes warm and comfortable.
Here are some steps you can take at home to keep your eyes hydrated until you can have a full dry eye exam. At Boyle Eye Specialists Dry Eye Center, we prescribe treatment based on the cause of your dry eye syndrome.
How To Prevent or Alleviate Dry Eyes
Following these tips may help to keep your eyes feeling less dry:
- Put warm compresses over your eyes to stimulate oil production
- Use a humidifier in your home and/or workplace
- Protect your eyes with wraparound sunglasses glasses or goggles
- Don’t sit directly in front of a heater
- Consume foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (after consulting with your physician)
- Go for a dry eye exam
It’s important to schedule a dry eye exam with an eye doctor experienced in diagnosing and treating dry eye syndrome. Treatments may include over-the-counter artificial tears or prescription eye drops, as well as in-office dry eye treatments.
The Bottom Line
Winter can be a wonderful time to be outdoors and explore nature, or to sit in a cozy warm home with a book and a blanket.
Don’t let DES ruin your winter this year. Book a dry eye exam with Boyle Eye Specialists Dry Eye Center today.
Our practice serves patients from Scranton, Lackawanna County, Dunmore, and Dickson City, Pennsylvania and surrounding communities.