Do Dry Eyes Get Worse in the Winter?

Do Dry Eyes Get Worse in the Winter? 654902ff84ffb.jpeg

Winter means colder months and the need for more warmth and staying indoors. As for people with dry eyes, it could mean being proactive about keeping their eyes moist to relieve their symptoms. Read on to learn if dry eyes worsen in winter.


Symptoms of Dry Eyes


Below are dry eye symptoms that can occur in both eyes:


  • A burning, scratchy, and stinging sensation in the eyes

  • Eye fatigue

  • Blurred vision

  • Stringy mucus around and in the eyes

  • Eye redness

  • Light sensitivity

  • A sensation of having something foreign in your eyes

  • Difficulty driving at night


Do Dry Eyes Worsen in Winter?


Dry eyes can occur all year round. However, various factors like heating and the weather can worsen your symptoms during winter. The high and cold winds that blow in your face can dry out your eyes. The air outdoors is often drier in the winter months. As a result, dry eyes worsen due to the absence of humidity in the air.


The colder months necessitate the need to warm up your home. But indoor heating will reduce moisture in the air in your home and, as a result, cause your eyes to be drier. Your tear film evaporates faster due to the heating. 


How to Treat Dry Eyes in Winter


Artificial tears can help add moisture to your eyes during winter to ensure they do not dry up. Most drugstores sell them as over-the-counter medication. You can reapply them severally during the day. However, it is vital to visit your eye doctor if you must use artificial tears over six times a day. They may have to prescribe a more effective treatment for the condition.


Use a humidifier indoors to add moisture to the dry air in your home. However, keep your humidifier clean to avoid attracting bacteria and mold to evade breeding illnesses.


Warm compresses can help relieve dry eye symptoms such as red and irritated eyes. Apply a washcloth soaked in warm water over your eyes. Place it there for about 10 minutes to rest and soothe your eyes.


How to Prevent Dry Eyes in Winter


You can reduce dry eye symptoms in winter in the following ways:


  • Facing away from heating sources and hair dryers. Ensure you do not blow air or heat directly into your face or eyes to avoid making them dry. You can warm your body while sitting away from the heating source. Instead of drying your hair using a dryer, air dry it.

  • Avoid heater usage sometimes by keeping your home as cool as you can tolerate.

  • Wear protective eyewear like wraparound glasses outdoors. Doing so will shield your eyes from elements, debris, and drying wind.

  • Add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet to reduce eye dryness.


When to See Your Eye Doctor 


You may have to see an eye doctor if preventative methods and treatments do not improve the symptoms.


Dry eyes can occur because of various underlying medical conditions like meibomian gland dysfunction, Sjogren’s disease, vitamin A deficiency, and eye infections. Your eye doctor will diagnose the cause of the problem and recommend the ideal treatment.


For more about dry eyes in winter or to book a visit, call Abraham Eye Associates at (484) 209-0800 to reach our office in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

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