Why Are Dry Eyes Worse in the Winter?

With winter in full swing, it becomes crucial to pay attention to your health more than ever. The drop in temperatures can bring about various illnesses, such as the common cold, flu, and strep throat. And just like your skin, your eyes can also be affected by the chilly and crisp, dry air. Here’s the reason why your dry eyes can get worse in the winter.


Dry Eyes in Winter

Your tears are a mixture of water, oil, and mucous. It provides a protective layer on the surface of your eyes. While your eyes regularly produce tears for lubrication, they also naturally evaporate. When this cycle is stable, your eyes can function well and feel perfect. But cold air holds less water compared to warm air. As a result, dry eyes tend to become more common during frigid temperatures. If you already have dry eye syndrome, the symptoms can get worse. Dry eye symptoms generally include eye redness, dryness, excess tearing, itchiness, and stickiness. It’s also common to feel a burning or a foreign body sensation in the eye, light sensitivity, and even vision changes.


Not just this. You will likely keep your doors and windows inside your home closed to shut the chilly and crisp, dry air, and turn on your electric heating appliances. The increase in humidity levels creates a dry atmosphere, which can make your dry eyes worse. Outside, the cold, strong wind during extreme weather can increase tear evaporation too.


How to Manage Your Dry Eyes in Winter

Because of the change in temperature during the cold season, taking special precautions to protect your eye health is crucial. Here are a few tips on how you can keep your dry eyes from getting worse during winter:


Apply a Warm Washcloth. 

Use a warm, damp compress on each of your eyes for a few minutes. This helps assist with tear secretion, keeping your eyes from swelling and feeling scratchy or irritated. Eye drops and artificial tears also relieve itchiness and help soothe your eyes.


Eat Right and Drink More Fluids. 

Research shows that consuming foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can protect your eyes not just from dry eyes but also from macular degeneration. Also, eating a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of vitamins A, C, and E is highly recommended. Staying hydrated is equally important to help your body fend off the condition.


Stay Away From Direct Heat and Buy a Humidifier. 

Turning the heating on during the colder months of the year helps you stay warm. But it would be best if you avoided the direct flow of heat from these appliances. You may also want to consider using a humidifier to restore the lost moisture into the air.


Do you think you’re starting to develop dry eyes? It’s best to check with an eye doctor before any of the symptoms get worse. Besides, regular checkups are just as vital for your eyes as they are for the rest of your body. Visit our team of experts at Urban Optics today in College Station, Texas, for a comprehensive eye examination. Call us at (979) 690-0888 to schedule your consultation.

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