The combination of cold, dry air, harsh winds and indoor heating can create an uncomfortable recipe for irritation in the form of dry eyes. This is common during the cold months, especially for those who wear contacts or already deal with a chronic eye condition. As the air dries out, it impacts tear film production, which is meant to keep the eyes lubricated. If you’ve been noticing irritation this season, chances are you’re suffering from this common winter condition. Here are some effective ways to prevent dry eyes in the winter to reduce the discomfort. 

Stay Hydrated

During the winter, the colder temperatures tend to be less enticing for us to drink water. Instead, many gravitate towards other options, like caffeine, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages. But with the intense dryness, it’s important to stay hydrated during the winter months to maintain moisture in our body and eyes. Try to aim to get in those eight glasses of water each day. If you find it difficult, opt for herbal tea, which can be more appealing to have when it’s cold outside.

Use a Humidifier

When the thermometer dips, we crank up the heat indoors, which makes the air inside even drier. Using a humidifier is essential to add moisture back into the air to balance out the dryness. It will provide relief for your skin and eyes.

Sit Away from Heaters

Whether it’s a space heater, vent or radiator, try to avoid sitting right next to your heat source. Instead, consider alternative ways to position yourself, so you’re not getting a direct dose of heat emitted towards your body and face.

Wear Sunglasses

The wintertime can cause a lot of strain on our eyes, particularly during bright sunny, snowy days. When you’re heading outside on those extra bright days, don’t forget to wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the intense glare and wind. 

Remove Makeup Before Bed

Makeup can contribute to irritation and dryness by clogging your tear ducts. Always take a few minutes to remove your eye makeup before going to bed. If possible, avoid using eye cleansers and products that contain harsh chemicals.

Get Some Omega-3s in your Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids help to lubricate our body from the inside, and they can reduce inflammation. You can take a supplement or focus on eating natural sources like fish and walnuts.

Get Your Eyes Examined

If your dry eye symptoms persist, get your eyes tested. There could be an underlying problem that might be contributing to the irritation. An optometrist will be able to get to the bottom of it or recommend a product, like artificial tears, if need be.

If you need an eye exam or recommendation for combating dry eyes, swing by Laurier Optical today!

Article has been reviewed by an Optometrist.