Most people think of winter as a wet season. It rains more during this time, and depending on the location, it might even snow. But as wet as the weather conditions may be, the air is actually a lot dryer, making the eyes more susceptible to dryness. Taking the proper measures to avoid dry eyes during the winter is key to maintaining good eye care.
Dry eyes is generally caused by an imbalance in the tear system. Tears are composed of water, oils, mucus, and antibodies that all work together to lubricate the eye, moisturize them, and fight off infections. When this imbalance occurs, dryness can take place. In addition to this imbalance, dryness is also caused when surrounding conditions dry out the tear film.
During winter, most people turn on heaters to stay warm, but forced air heating decreases moisture from the environment, which in-turn causes dry eyes. Instead of turning up the heat, try putting on an extra jacket. When outside, you can further protect your eyes from the wind by wearing sunglasses or a hat with a brim.
Sometimes no matter what precautions we take, the weather gets the best of our eyes. If dry eye symptoms persist (pain, light sensitivity, gritty sensation, itching, redness) try using artificial tears that aid in creating the lubrication one should normally experience. People with contacts need to take extra precaution. Contact lenses are like sponges and need to stay wet in order to maintain their shape. If they dry out, they can lose their form and cause discomfort.
Before using any eye drops, contact an eye specialist to make sure the eye drops are the best solution to your dry eye symptoms. Visit the East West Eye Institute for more information or call 877-871-1684 to speak to an expert.
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