Depending on where you live, autumn 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 and itchy 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 dry eye 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 dry eyes that typically accompany 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 a number of 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 risk-free solutions if you wear eye makeup.
Pollen levels spike between 4 and 7 p.m., so 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 keeping your eyes healthy.
If you’ve tried everything else and still don’t see results, consult an optometrist and tell them about what typically triggers your symptoms. 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.