Tips to Prevent or Sooth Dry Eyes in winter
Winter weather can wreak havoc on your eyes, causing them to become dry, itchy, and irritated. This is especially true if you wear contact lenses. In addition, the cold, dry air can cause your contact lenses to become uncomfortable and even painful to wear. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent or soothe dry eyes in winter.
Use a Humidifier
One of the leading causes of dry eyes in winter is the dry air that comes with the colder weather. This can be especially problematic if you have the heating system on at home or in the office. To help combat the dryness, use a humidifier to add moisture back into the air. This can help keep your eyes hydrated and prevent them from becoming dry and itchy.
Blink More Often
When you're focused on a task, such as working on a computer, you may not realize that you're not blinking as often as you should. Blinking helps spread tears across your eye's surface and prevent dryness. To combat dry eyes, make a conscious effort to blink more often, especially when working on a computer or reading a book.
Another important step in preventing dry eyes in winter is to stay hydrated. When your body is dehydrated, your eyes are more likely to become dry and uncomfortable. So drink plenty of water throughout the day to help keep your body hydrated. If you need help remembering to drink enough water, try setting reminders on your phone or keeping a water bottle on your desk.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
While it may be tempting to rub your eyes when they're feeling dry and itchy, this can worsen the problem. Rubbing your eyes can cause irritation and inflammation, leading to even more dryness and discomfort. Instead of rubbing your eyes, try using eye drops to soothe the irritation.
Use Eye Drops
Speaking of eye drops, they can be a great way to prevent and soothe dry eyes in winter. Look for eye drops specifically formulated for dry eyes, which will provide the most relief. You can use eye drops as often as needed throughout the day to keep your eyes hydrated and comfortable.
Take Breaks from Your Screen
Spending a lot of time staring at a computer screen or other electronic device can contribute to dry eyes in winter. Taking regular breaks from your screen can help prevent eye strain and dryness. Try the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
Use a Travel Contact Lens Case
Many people find that using eyeglasses for computer work helps reduce eye strain, as wearing contact lenses can exacerbate dry eye and other computer vision syndrome symptoms.
A travel contact lens case is a convenient way to give yourself the option of wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses. A travel contact lens case is designed to hold your contact lenses and a travel-sized contact solution bottle. Some travel contact lens cases, such as Oplee™ Travel Contact Lens Case, even include a built-in mirror and storage for your eyeglass case.
It's important to note that you should never transfer contact solution from a large bottle to a smaller one. Doing so is not safe and could lead to an eye infection. So use a travel contact lens case that works with standard travel-sized (2 fl oz) contact solution bottles produced by most contact solution manufacturers.
Increase Your Intake of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are important for maintaining healthy eyes and preventing dryness. You can increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids by eating foods such as fatty fish, nuts, and seeds. However, if you're not getting enough omega-3s in your diet, consider taking a supplement.
Keep Your Contact Lenses Clean and Moist
If you wear contact lenses, keeping them clean and moist is essential for preventing dry eyes. Be sure to follow the cleaning and disinfecting instructions provided by your eye doctor or the manufacturer of your contact lenses. Additionally, using a contact lens solution specifically designed for dry eyes can help keep your lenses moist.
Even in winter, the sun's UV rays can harm your eyes. Wearing sunglasses can help protect your eyes from these rays and prevent dryness and irritation. Look for sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection and wrap around your face to provide the most coverage.
Consider Using a Warm Compress
If your eyes are feeling particularly dry and uncomfortable, a warm compress can help soothe the irritation. Simply soak a clean washcloth in warm water, wring it out, and place it over your closed eyes for 10-15 minutes. The warmth and moisture can help relieve dryness and make your eyes more comfortable.
Talk to Your Eye Doctor
If you're experiencing persistent dryness and eye irritation, it's important to talk to your eye doctor. They can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and recommend the best treatment. They may also be able to suggest specific eye drops or other products that can help alleviate your symptoms.
In conclusion, the winter weather can be harsh on your eyes, causing them to become dry and itchy, especially if you wear contact lenses. Fortunately, many ways exist to prevent or soothe dry eyes during the colder months. Using a humidifier, staying hydrated, blinking more often, avoiding rubbing your eyes, using eye drops, taking breaks from screens, using a travel contact lens case, increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, keeping your contact lenses clean and moist, wearing sunglasses, and using a warm compress are all effective methods for preventing or relieving dry eyes. However, if your symptoms persist, it's important to consult your eye doctor to determine the underlying cause and find the best treatment for your specific needs.