Helpful Tips to Prevent Dry Eye This Winter
The winter season transforms the world outside and makes us adjust our daily routines to prepare for these transformations.
During the colder months, we make numerous adjustments to our environment and wardrobe to adapt to the chilling effects of winter. It is essential to remember that our bodies and health are often significantly affected by the changes that happen during the winter months.
There is no shortage of ways the cold can bring inconvenient changes to our daily lives. Common symptoms of cold winter weather include runny noses, chapped lips, dry skin, and frozen fingers.
It is nearly impossible to avoid dry eyes all together in the winter months, but there are steps that you can take to ensure that your eyes stay as hydrated and healthy as possible this winter season.
During the winter months, a home’s humidity level can dip below the 30-55 percent range that is required for our eyes to stay adequately lubricated. Consider bringing a humidifier into your home to improve the ambient humidity. Additionally, consider leaving off the exhaust in your bathroom while you are showering.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Even mild dehydration can negatively affect the hydration of the eyes. This is especially significant in winter because cold temperatures can dampen the body’s thirst mechanism, while artificial heat speeds the evaporation of tears. Keep your eyes hydrated by drinking water throughout the day and increasing your intake of fluid-rich foods (soup, fruits, and vegetables).
- Increase Your Omega 3s
The dryness of the winter season can contribute to inflammation of the eye’s tear glands. This can lead to a reduction in their secretion and an increase in evaporative tear loss. If your diet is low in these necessary nutrients, consider taking a fish oil or flaxseed oil supplement.
On a cold day, your first instinct when getting into your car is to blast the heat on high until you warm up. Sitting in front of the forced air vent is essentially the same as holding a hairdryer to your eyes. They can become very dry, very rapidly. Consider heating your feet and/or turning on your seat warmer until you are at a comfortable temperature.