10 Ways to Prevent Dry Eyes in the Winter
10 Tips for Preventing Dry Eyes
The experience of dry eyes is reviled by each and every person, especially if the symptoms present themselves frequently. Unfortunately, New Jersey winters bring on the condition more often due to the cold weather, which evaporates air moisture quicker. A similar effect occurs inside, due to heating systems in your home. The good news is that there are measures that help avoid any eye irritation. Here are 10 ways Marano Eye Care’s top ophthalmologists prevent dry eyes in the winter.
Wear More Layers or Use Close-Contact Heaters to Stay Warm
One of the most common causes of dry eyes during the winter is that the heating system in your home has reduced moisture levels. The higher the temperature in your home, the more pronounced the effect will be. By wearing more layers, or using a direct heating source such as an electric blanket or seat warmer, you’ll be less reliant on your radiator to stay warm. Not only will the air be less dry in your home, you’ll save more on heating costs.
Use a humidifier in your home
On its own or used in tandem with the aforementioned layering techniques, humidifiers are an effective method to keep your home’s moisture at preferred levels. Not only will it help with eye dryness, a humidifier can accelerate healing times, comfort your sinuses, benefit your skin, benefit your houseplants and reduce chances of infections.
The logic behind drinking more fluids is simple. By having higher hydration levels, your body is able to properly regulate itself. This means benefits such as healthier skin and better digestion. It also means that your eyes tear reserves will not be sacrificed to preserve core organ function.
Protect Your Eyes With Sunglasses
It may seem counter-intuitive, but eyes are, on average, at greater risk of sun damage during the days of winter chill than during the summer. This is due to the fact that UV rays are more intense when it’s cold outside. It’s compounded when snow is on the ground, because the snow will reflect the rays more directly into your eyes. Check out some of our tips on eye protection.
Take Your Vitamins and Omega-3 Fatty Acids
The dry air of winter will not only evaporate moisture from the eyes, it can inflame the tear ducts. When this occurs, the duct can be partially obstructed, reducing the natural flow of tears. Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A, C, and E will help ease and prevent inflammation.
Drink Less Coffee
Unfortunately for its huge swath of fans, drinking too much coffee can exacerbate your eye problems as well. This is because coffee is a natural diuretic. If your body is flushing itself of fluids too frequently, you run the risk of dehydration.
Avoid rubbing your eyes
It’s never fun when you’re prevented from satisfying an urge. But just as it is with picking a scab or scratching a rash, rubbing your eyes will often do more harm than good. When you rub your eyes, you risk the chance of infection due to debris or germs residing on your hands. This can lead to an infection, which would be far worse than any eye dryness. Also, if you’re not careful, one of your corneas can become scratched, leading to permanent damage. Worse still, rubbing your eyes will do little to treat or further prevent any dryness. Allow your eyes to utilize their natural defenses.
Close your eyes more frequently
When you blink, your eyes become enveloped in a layer of tears. These tears are filled with protein, moisture, minerals, oils, and enzymes. The combination of these nutrients and fluids keep your eyes healthy, clear away dirt and maintain hydration. Only by fully closing your eyes can they eliminate the old tear and fully benefit from what the new tear film provides. Proper lubrication equals less dryness.
Shorten the Amount of Time You Wear Contacts
Anyone who regularly wears contacts should already know the negative side effects of wearing contacts too long. Prolonged use can cause irritation, damage and infection. Just like rubbing your eyes, it also can cause excessive tearing, thus draining your tear ducts and eventually leading to dryness and added discomfort. The best solution? Consider LASIK eye surgery, which will eliminate contacts from ever being a problem again.
Find an Effective Eye Drop
In the case of treating dry eyes, it’s crucial that you choose the proper formulation for the symptoms. It’s not simply a case of clearing redness, nor are your problems likely being caused by allergies. Find drops that are specifically made for dryness, as those will be the most effective. We are happy to prescribe drops if necessary.
At Marano Eye Care, we’ve been treating dry eyes as one of New Jersey’s top ophthalmologist groups for years. If you have problems with dry eyes or have any other sort of eye condition requiring treatment, please contact us and we’ll be happy make you part of our family.