Sore Dry Eyes and Winter Weather
Commonly Winter is the season which most exacerbates dry eyes. On cooler days, cold winds and dry air in addition to dry indoor heating can lead to eye discomfort. Dryness and irritation can be particularly debilitating for those who wear contact lenses or suffer from chronic dry eyes.
Weather conditions can reduce the volume and quality of tears in your eyes and the irritation usually results in a burning or itching sensation that often leads to rubbing or scratching your eyes. It may feel like there is an object in your eye and for some people, dry eyes can even cause watering, as your eyes try to compensate for the initial dryness. Left untreated dry eyes can also lead to variable blurred vision.
If you can relate to some of these symptoms, then you may benefit from starting some treatment.
Below are some steps to follow that might offer your eyes some relief :
- To keep eyes moist, use lubricant eye drops a few times a day. It’s important to use only products which are preservative-free for best results.
- Use a warm compress on your eyes daily. A heated face towel with warm water can be soothing and help your tears secrete easier.
- Drink lots of water and keep your body hydrated. This will also help with moisture in your tears.
- If indoors for lengthy periods of time with indoor heating, use a humidifier to add some moisture back into the air.
- Position yourself away from direct heat sources, especially if they are fan-forced. This may reduce your tears from drying up from the warm airflow.
- Using a digital screen of any sort for long time periods can further dry out your eyes. Try to blink often and take breaks looking away from the screen once an hour for at least a minute.
- If your eyes are itchy, first try to wash with cool water, and try a non preserved lubricating eye drop. Try not to rub your eyes very much as this can make the irritation worse. Rubbing also introduces bacteria to your eyes if your hands are not clean.
- If you are a contact lens wearer, try giving your eyes a break and wearing glasses in the evening or a few days a week.
- When outdoors wear a hat and sunglasses, preferably wrap around if in windy, cold areas. If you do snow sports make sure you wear your goggles. These measures help to keep the wind and particles from getting to your eyes.
If you find that after following this advice you continue to suffer, contact the Dry Eye Clinic at Freedom Eye Laser where we can introduce you to further treatments personally tailored to your eyes. We have access to medical therapies and IPL specific treatment for better tear film quality.
If you think you may suffer from this condition or would like more information, you can book an appointment to see us without a referral letter, on (02) 9981 1771.
Author – Nazanin Azimi
Freedom Eye Laser have a dedicated clinic that utilises the most effective therapies. The clinic is run by Nazanin who is an experienced Optometrist. She takes the time to understand our patients’ concerns and the impact dry eye has on their lives. Nazanin evaluates the cause(s) and severity of your condition then tailors a solution to reduce symptoms. She carefully monitors the treatment’s effectiveness over time and adjusts the care as needed.