Does Dry Eye Get Worse During The Winter? | Westlake Eye Specialists

Does Dry Eye Get Worse During The Winter?

Most people suffer from dry eyes at one point or another, and some have worse symptoms than others. The moisture balance in your eyes is a delicate thing, and it can get disrupted for any number of reasons.

But, one of the most significant causes of dry eye is the surrounding climate. Dry air can cause your tears to evaporate before they’ve had a chance to hydrate and lubricate your eyes thoroughly.

This problem is especially noticeable during winter when the air is colder and drier. Keep reading to learn why your eyes get more dehydrated in winter and what you can do about it!

How Do You Protect Your Eyes From The Cold

The best way to prevent dry eye symptoms during the winter is to limit your exposure to the outside air. The wind is an incredibly potent cause of dry eyes.

Stay indoors when possible and pay attention to humidity levels for your local weather. That way, you can avoid outside activities on arid days.

But staying indoors may not be enough to prevent dry eyes in the winter. The humidity levels in your home drop due to the outside temperature and having the heat on inside.

But there are steps you can take to create healthy humidity levels in your home. These same steps also apply to your office or other indoor settings where you spend time.

Make Adjustments Around Your Home

First, begin by sealing drafts around your home. Any time you feel a cool breeze, track its source.

Poorly fitted doors and windows are common culprits. And, by sealing these drafts, you save on your energy bill while reducing your dry eyes!

Next, heat your home with radiant energy. Convection-style space heaters are convenient and heat a room quickly.

But the blowing hot air is just as bad as the cold air when it comes to drying out your eyes. The added wind also contributes to your dry eyes when it’s blowing around inside.

If these tricks don’t reduce your dry eyes, invest in a humidifier. Pumping moisture into the air of your home can counteract the drying effects of heaters and cold air.

Relieve Your Dry Eyes

Do not rub your eyes if you need immediate relief from dry eye symptoms. Instead, use artificial tears or eye drops for instant relief.

Although thicker eye drops may interfere with vision, they provide longer-lasting relief. The best time to use them is before you go to bed, so they can soak into your eyes as you sleep.

Diet is also a vital part of healthy tear production. Be sure to consume plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.

Walnuts, fish, and eggs are excellent sources of these critical molecules. Staying hydrated is also crucial, as your body needs an ample water supply to produce tears. 

Remember that the winter air may not be the primary source of your dry eye but rather a contributing factor. If these lifestyle changes don’t reduce your dry eyes, you need professional help.

More involved treatments like LipiFlow may be necessary. It can address dry eyes at the root of the problem.

Schedule an appointment at Westlake Eye Associates in Austin, TX, to heal your dry eyes!