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‘Tis the Season to Be Dry

The weather outside may be getting a bit frightful about this time of year. The skies are cloudy and snowflakes are falling one day, and the sun is shining the next. In either scenario, chances are the air is cold and dry. This change can trigger a whole slew of issues, ranging from skin conditions to chronically dry eyes. It is important to know when to turn to easy remedies and when to see an eye doctor for professional treatment. Some of the tactics that may be used to soothe dry eye irritation include the following.

  1. Where your shades. We’re much more interested in sunglasses during the summer months, but a good pair of shades can also act as a barrier between the eyes and dry air, debris, and wind. If you’re particularly sensitive to dry air conditions, we suggest also getting a pair of clear eyeglasses with or without prescription lenses.
  2. Drink plenty of fluids. The more hydrated we are, the happier our eyes will be. Like sunglasses, drinking a nice cold glass of water is something we’re more prone to do in the warmer-weather months. However, we need hydration just as much during the winter. If cold water isn’t appealing, try herbal teas in the morning and room-temperature water throughout the day.
  3. If you can’t take a short nap during the day, at least rest your eyes. Screens are especially harmful to the eyes because their blue light increases sensitivity and eye strain. Closing the eyes for a few seconds every hour can help restore lubrication in offices and homes that are dry due to indoor heat.
  4. Moisten with warmth. Who doesn’t enjoy the comfort of a warm beverage on a cold day? The eyes are no different. When the irritation of dryness comes on, such as a burning or gritty sensation, this is the time to place a warm, moist cloth over the eyes for 5 to 10 minutes. Together, warmth and moisture promote a healthy tear film.

Nonprescription eye drops may also be a must for the person who is susceptible to dry eyes. And, if dry eyes persist regardless of these remedies, it’s time to see the eye doctor. In our Albany office, patients can achieve relief from dry eyes with LipiFlow, a brief in-office treatment that is comfortable and effective. To learn more, call 518.475.1515.

Posted in: Dry Eyes

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