Winter Tips for Dealing with Dry Eyes

There are plenty of good things about winter, like the holiday season, beautiful snow falling, and winter sports. But, the combination of low humidity outside and heating inside dries out skin, hair, and eyes. 

There are several reasons you may have dry eyes, besides winter weather. For example, a condition called Meibomian gland dysfunction can cause dry eyes. Medications, allergies, your age, and numerous other factors can also make your eyes dry out. 

Our care providers at both locations of Cooper Eye Care are experienced in recognizing dry eye, and can help you manage the problem. You don’t have to live with the discomfort of itching, stinging, burning, dry eyes this winter. 

Managing dry eyes

The American Optometric Association estimates that about five million Americans aged 50 and over have dry eye. If you’re one of them, here are some things you can do to manage the condition. 

Wear sunglasses

You might not consider your sunglasses a winter accessory, but they are an important part of protecting your eyes from wind and dry air. Consider wrap around styles for the most protection. 

Avoid air blowing directly at your face

It feels lovely to get in your car and let warm air blast over you after being out in bitter temperatures, but, as good as it feels, that warm air can lead to discomfort. Try pointing your vents toward your body, rather than your face, and generally avoid allowing air to blow on your face. 

Get a humidifier

Whether you put it in your bedroom or your office, or both, a humidifier adds moisture to the air, which can help with dry eyes — and dry skin and dry nasal passages. 

Dust a little more often

Not many people enjoy dusting, but limiting the amount of allergens — like all those in dust — can make the symptoms of dry eyes better. If allergies are a problem for you, discuss it with your doctor at Cooper Eye Care. They’ll be able to offer advice tailored to you and your symptoms. 

Avoid smoke

Obviously, smoking cigarettes is bad for your overall health, but it can make dry eye symptoms worse. You should also avoid other types of smoke, such as woodsmoke, as that can irritate your eyes as well. 

Use eye drops

Keeping your eyes moist is the best way to avoid the discomfort of dry eyes. Using drops even when your eyes feel fine is one good way to keep them moist. Your doctor can recommend the best type of artificial tears for you. 

Now is a good time for prevention

Late fall is an ideal time to book an appointment for your annual eye exam. You can come in, make sure your eyes are healthy, and discuss how to best manage dry eyes this winter. 

Although general tips are helpful, our providers offer advice to fit your individual circumstances. Your gender, age, profession, medical history, and many other factors make a difference in the likelihood of you developing dry eyes. 

Book your appointment today, and go into winter with moist, comfortable eyes! You can use our online scheduling tool, or simply call the location that’s most convenient for you. 

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