Dry eye is a common condition that’s caused either by the eyes not producing enough tears, or tears that evaporate too quickly. Not surprisingly, dry eye is more prevalent during the winter due to colder temperatures and lower humidity. The cold winter air and dry, heated air inside can both contribute to dry eyes.
There are many ways to alleviate dry eye symptoms, starting with the tips below. In the meantime, schedule an appointment with North Country Eye Care in West Lebanon for a dry eye diagnosis and treatment plan this winter!
Dry Eye: What Is It?
When the eyes produce low-quality tears or the number of tears is insufficient, this leads to dry eye syndrome (DES). DES eye can be triggered by a variety of factors, including medications, medical conditions, aging, environment, too much screen time and meibomian gland dysfunction.
Meibomian gland dysfunction occurs when the meibomian glands get clogged. This makes it difficult for the essential oils in the glands to lubricate the tear film on the surface of the eye. Insufficient oil causes the tears to evaporate too quickly. This can result in discomfort, redness, and a burning sensation in the eyes. It can also lead to blurred vision, light sensitivity, and a feeling that something is caught in the eye. In severe cases, DES can lead to ulcers on the cornea and vision loss.
What Are Some At-Home Remedies for Dry Eye?
There are many home remedies to reduce dry eye symptoms during the winter. One of the best is to use a humidifier in your home or office. Humidifiers add much-needed moisture, which helps prevent your eyes from drying out. Remember to also protect your eyes from the cold and wind by wearing sunglasses or goggles when you’re outdoors.
You should also try to blink more often in winter, especially when you're behind a screen or reading. Blinking more often will keep your eyes lubricated and more comfortable.
Your diet and lifestyle can impact how healthy your eyes are during the winter. If you use medications like antihistamines, keep in mind that they can cause dry eye symptoms. Drinking too much liquor and not hydrating enough can also cause dry eye symptoms.
If your dry eye symptoms aren’t alleviated by the steps above, it’s time to contact your eye doctor, who may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription eye drops or other treatments. Your eye doctor will also be able to recommend a combination of vitamins that support eye health and can help relieve dry eye symptoms.
Dry Eye Diagnosis & Treatment in West Lebanon
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, book an eye exam with North Country Eye Care in West Lebanon today.