Depending on where you live, humidity levels tend to drop along with the temperature in the fall and winter seasons. For many, this isn’t much of a problem, but if you suffer from dry eyes in the winter you know just how uncomfortable this can be. It is estimated that 30% of Canadians experience ocular symptoms associated with this syndrome.
Even if you don’t suffer from chronic dry and itchy eyes in winter, maintaining a proper level of moisture is essential to keeping your vision comfortable and healthy. According to the Canadian Association of Optometrists, if dry eye is left untreated, it can be harmful. Excessive symptoms can damage tissue and possibly scar the sensitive corneal tissues of your eye, impairing vision, so it is important to combat!
Here are a few simple ways to reduce 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 for dry eyes will add moisture to the air while helping to relieve a number of allergy and environment symptoms.
Your eyelids play a vital role in keeping your eyes moist and comfortable. If there is debris along the eyelashes and the margin of the eyelid, this can affect your eyes natural ability to produce oils. Keeping your eyelids clean, by using a warm damp cloth, can really help to keep eyes moist and happy.
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.
Close your windows at night to prevent excess allergens from entering your home. Clean your furnace filters and air return vents throughout your home for additional allergen reducing benefits. If you have a pet, groom them to reduce dander in the air. A top-to-bottom clean will go a long way towards reducing grittiness in eyes!
If you’ve tried everything else and still don’t see results, consult an optometrist and tell them about what typically triggers your itchy dry eyes. Treatment often involves medicated eye drops, which will have your eyes back to normal in a few days’ time.
FYidoctors has taken a special interest in providing dry eye relief and treatment. If you find that you are experiencing symptoms, please visit one of our eye care specialists at your nearest FYIdoctors location.