Depending on where you live, winter tends to be a dry season, with humidity levels dropping along with the temperature. For many, this isn’t much of a problem, but if you suffer from dry eye syndrome you know just how uncomfortable of a problem this can be. Even if you don’t suffer from chronic dry eyes, maintaining a proper level of eye moisture is essential to keeping your eyes comfortable and healthy.
The Tear Film & Ocular Surface Society, along with the National Women’s Health Resource Centre, compiled a list of the worst cities for dry eye in the United States. It should come as no surprise that the majority of the cities on the list are in arid desert climates and higher elevations. Las Vegas took the top spot, while four of the top five cities were in West Texas. While the information is based on American geography, it’s safe to assume that those living on the Canadian Prairies, in the Rockies, and Northern Canada are similarly at-risk of having their symptoms exacerbated by where they live.
Short of packing your bags and moving across the country, here are just a few ways to combat the discomfort that typically accompanies the weather this time of year:
Forced air heating systems tend to dry out the buildings they heat, which can aggravate dust and pollen allergies. Using a cold air humidifier will add moisture to the air while helping to relieve many allergy symptoms, including dry eye.
You may not know it, but some eye makeup products can trigger or worsen dry eye symptoms and other eye conditions. Ophthalmologist-tested, hypoallergenic makeup and creams are often low-risk solutions if you wear eye makeup.
If you’ve tried everything else and still don’t see results, consult an optometrist and tell them what typically triggers your symptoms. Treatment often involves preservative-free artificial tears, along with medicated eye drops to reduce inflammation that accompanies dry eyes.
If you find that you are experiencing symptoms, please visit one of our eye care specialists at your nearest FYidoctors location.