Cold temperatures outdoors combined with dry, heated air indoors can lead to considerable discomfort for many people during the winter. Known as Dry Eye Syndrome, symptoms of the condition are not limited to dryness in the eyes but extend to pain, blurred vision, a scratching or burning sensation, and excessive tearing as the eyes try to combat other symptoms, explains U.S. News. Luckily, there are a few ways you can cope with the syndrome to feel more comfortable this winter.
- Improve your diet. Increase the amount of fish you eat or take a nutritional supplement containing omega-3 (polyunsaturated fatty acids). You can also avoid dehydration by drinking a few extra glasses of water per day, recommends the Pennsylvania Optometric Association.
- Use a humidifier. If you notice that symptoms worsening whenever you turn on the heating, consider purchasing a humidifier for your home and office.
- Avoid blowing air into the eyes. Never allow air from heaters, fans, or air conditioners to blow directly toward your eyes. If you use a blow dryer on your hair, keep your eyes closed or use artificial tears both before and after drying, recommends All About Dry Eye. Another note on hair styling: take care with hairsprays and leave-in conditioners as these products often contain chemicals that can exacerbate symptoms.
- Blink frequently. If you are concentrating for a long time, especially when staring at a computer screen, it is easy to forget to blink. If you are in a very dry environment, such as a high altitude, in the desert, or in an airplane, it can even help to close your eyes for a few minutes, advises Mayo Clinic.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses, eyeglass shields, or goggles. All these options stop wind and dry air from making contact with your eyes and halt tear reflexes.
Using sunglasses is one of the best ways to help your kids cope with dry eye syndrome. They also contribute to your children’s eye safety by offering protection against UV rays, which are particularly intense when there is snow on the ground. Find a pair for your kids in the Real Kids’ collection.