The Winter (Eye) Blues

Winter is just around the corner.  You know what that means  –  plummeting temperatures and heaters cranked up to full blast in our homes and offices.  Both extreme cold and heat can cause the eyes to be dry and uncomfortable.  For those who suffer with chronic dry eye year round, these 2 factors can exacerbate dry eye symptoms.  But, fear not, we have a few tips to help you get through the winter months in comfort!

Winter Eye Blues | Mandel Vision Blog Post


Don’t Sit Too  Close to the Heater

Freezing young woman near a heater

Try to point your  vents away from your face.  The less direct contact the heat has with your eyes, the better.  For those of you in NYC apartments with radiators, you can turn that dry radiator heat into moist heat by adding a radiator pan filled with water. You can typically find these at your local hardware store or online.

Use a Humidifier

Humidifier
 Cold temperatures and indoor heat create a very dry environment which can also contribute to dry eye symptoms. A humidifier can help keep your eyes better lubricated. Be sure to clean your humidifier regularly. All models are different, so consult the manufacturer for details.

Increase the Use of Lubricating Eye Drops

Eyes Lubricating

Using over the counter natural tears more regularly (up to 4 times a day) can help supplement the decrease in the body’s natural tears during the winter months.

Drink A Lot of Water

Couple staying hydrated
Dehydration can affect the eyes.  Keeping well hydrated has a lot of benefits for your body and can also help decrease dry eye symptoms.

Wear Sunglasses Outdoors

Woman Sunglasses

We’ve all experienced tears streaming down our face while walking outside on a blustery winter day.  This is the body’s defense mechanism hard at work.  When your eyes get dry the body produces excess tears, known as reflex tears, to try to compensate. Minimizing contact with the cold, dry air by placing a barrier between your eye and the air can keep this from drying your eyes out and can also combat the excessive tearing.

Improve  Your Diet

Salmon & Lemon

Foods that are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, can help decrease your risk of eye disease. It can also improve the quality of the tear film in the eyes which can help with dry eye symptoms.

Give Your Eyes a Break

Bored businesswoman
 When you stare at a computer or other digital device, your blink rate decreases by more than 60%.  Blinking is the body’s natural way of replenishing lubrication on the surface of the eye.  So, when you read for long periods of time, your eyes get dry.  Click here to read more of Dr. Mandel’s computer and reading tips.

See Your Eye Doctor

Doctor MandelIf you suffer from dry eye year round, it’s often helpful to know the specific cause. Armed with this, your eye doctor can tailor a regimen to best address the root cause of your dry eye.  Click here to read more about the fine art of treating dry eye. 

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