Pedestrians and traffic on a winter day

Colder conditions outside and dry heat indoors can make the winter a difficult time for your eyes. Here’s how to keep them healthy and hydrated.

Protecting your eyes from dryness may be a challenge throughout the year, but it’s especially difficult during the colder months. As temperatures drop outside and we compensate with arid indoor heating, it’s no wonder that patients have a hard time with itchy, burning eyes every winter.

Unsurprisingly, dry eye syndrome affects millions of Americans. While quick fixes for dry eye symptoms abound, there are long-term steps you can take to protect your eye health this winter — and for winters to come. Consider the following tips the next time you find yourself rubbing your eyes during the colder months.

  1. Choose the Right Eye Drops

During the winter, colder, windier conditions outside and hotter, drier conditions inside sap away the eye’s natural moisture. This can make your eyes feel like they itch or burn and increase your urge to rub them, something that can make your symptoms worse.

By choosing eye drops that fit your needs, you can help replace the moisture that’s been wicked away. However, not every type of eye drop will be right for you. For example, consider brands that allow you to use them as many times as you need without causing additional irritation. If you wear contact lenses, you’ll need special drops made for use with contacts.

  1. Be Aware of Heat Sources

Excessive exposure to sources of heat can accelerate dryness already caused by harsh outdoor conditions. Accordingly, be mindful of how close these heat sources may be to your eyes. If you’re driving, for instance, direct the heat vents away from your face. This will help your eyes retain their natural moisture and take a break from extreme temperatures.

  1. Drink Fluids and Take Vitamins

While this may seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to drink plenty of water if you need to replace your eyes’ fluids. Dehydration will only make it more difficult for your eyes to retain their natural moisture.

Additionally, consider taking vitamins that promote eye health, such as omega-3 fatty acids — also referred to as fish oils. With supplements approved by your eye care specialist, you can help your body repair your tear film and glands.

  1. Buy a Humidifier

If your bedroom, living room, or office — basically, anywhere you spend a considerable amount of time — has become dried out from indoor heating, you’ll need to introduce moisture back into the room. A humidifier can make this easy. By getting a model that’s meant for the size of the space you have in mind, you can help protect your eyes’ natural moisture.

 

  1. Talk to an Eye Care Specialist

Although there are home remedies for dry eyes, it’s always best to consult an expert. If your dry eyes have become a cause of concern or you need insight into the best products to get some relief, reach out to your eye care specialist today.

By scheduling a consultation with ICON Eyecare, you can get the attention you need for those itchy, burning eyes. Our trained specialists will sit down with you and help you enjoy your favorite wintertime activities.

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