Dry eyes are very annoying. That feeling like your eyelids have sandpaper on them when you blink is extremely uncomfortable. Dry eyes can be caused by a number of medical conditions like Parkinson’s, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, but most often they occur simply because a person is dehydrated or the conditions are dry. That is why so many Edmontonians suffer from dry eyes during the winter. If you want to ensure your eyes remain moist, follow these tips to deal with dry eyes this winter.
1. Get Some Humidifiers in Your Home
Running the furnace all winter means that the air in your home will be extremely dry if it is left untreated. For this reason, you should install a few humidifiers around your home. It’s especially important to have humidifiers in rooms in your home where you spend a lot of time like the living room and bedroom. You can also always go in the bathroom and turn the hot water on to produce some steam if your eyes are feeling a little dried out.
2. Delight in Warm Soup
There is nothing like a bowl of warm soup on a cold winter’s day. Not only does it feel good, but consuming soup helps to prevent your eyes from drying out. When the body is dehydrated, dry eyes can rapidly result. Unfortunately, it’s hard to stay hydrated during the winter because the cold weather naturally slows down the body’s thirst mechanism.
Since you don’t have to sweat much to cool off during the winter, the body thinks that it doesn’t need to signal that you are thirsty as often. This means that you have to force yourself to look for ways to stay hydrated during the winter. Drinking lots of warm soup is one easy, delicious way to help ensure that you are staying properly hydrated during wintertime.
3. Be Smart with Your Computer
One of the reasons that more people are suffering from dry eyes these days is that many of us spend so much of our days staring into computer screens. When you are staring at your computer screen for long periods of time, you tend not to blink as much as you need to. This will quickly dry out your eyes, and they dry out even faster in the winter air. To prevent this, you should make sure that you look away from the screen periodically and give your eyes a break for a few minutes.
Another way to help repent your eyes from getting dried out by your computer time is to position your monitor below eye level. If you are looking up at your computer screen, your eyes will open wider and dry out more quickly. On the other hand, looking down at your computer screen will keep your eyes from opening as wide.
4. Take an Omega-3 Supplement
The dry air that comes during the winter has a tendency to inflame your tear ducts. When your tear ducts experience this inflammation, they are constricted and do not produce enough moisture to keep your eyes from drying out. One of the best ways to reduce this tear duct inflammation is to make sure that you are consuming lots of omega-3 fatty acids. Wild-caught seafood is one of the best sources of omega-3s. Flaxseed oil, chia seeds and walnuts also contain high amounts of omega-3s. Taking an omega-3 supplement during the winter is also a good idea to keep your eyes from drying out.
5. Protect Your Eyes with Sunglasses
Believe it or not, the winter sunshine is worse for your eyes than the summer sunshine. The winter sunshine becomes especially hard on your eyes when there is snow on the ground. The glare of the sun off the brilliantly white snow is very tough on your eyes and can dry them out quickly. To protect your eyes, you should wear sunglasses at all times when you are outdoors. Not only will sunglasses protect your eyes from the glare of the winter sunshine, but they will also protect them from the fierce winter winds that can rapidly dry your eyes out if they are left unprotected.
If you follow these five tips, you should be able to avoid dry eyes most of this winter. If dry eyes still persist, book an appointment with us to determine why your eyes continue to dry out. Seeing an eye care professional is the best way to make sure that you get the necessary treatment to prevent dry eyes from bothering you further.