Cold weather increases the risk of developing dry eyes

Even though you live in Florida, the cold weather can affect your vision, causing dry eyes in the winter and spring. Lower humidity and high winds are two seasonal changes that can cause dry eyes and discomfort. Fortunately, several treatments and strategies are available for use during the winter months that will help reduce the effects of dry eyes, including scratchy, itchy, and painful symptoms.

Artificial tears are at the top of the recommended treatments for dry eyes. The eye drops are available over-the-counter. Simply apply several times throughout the day for relief. If you use artificial tears more than six times per day, contact your eye care professional about prescription drop options. If you wear contacts, be sure your drops are contact-friendly.

Your local pharmacy will carry eye ointments. This over-the-counter option is thicker than other eye drops and is applied along the inner lower lash line. These work best if applied just before bedtime so the ointment won't blur your vision.

Indoor humidifiers help replace moisture in the air that has been eliminated due to heaters and windy weather. You must keep the humidifier clean because it can attract mold and bacteria, creating an entirely new set of health concerns. Avoid heated humidifiers as they are a hazard for burns.

A warm compress applied to your eyes can alleviate irritation, reduce redness and discomfort. Likewise, a warm washcloth resting over your eye for about 10 minutes will do the trick.

To prevent dry eyes from occurring, avoid hair dryers, reduce your heater usage, add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, take dietary supplements and wear wrap-around glasses to protect your eyes from the wind.

If you take an antihistamine to combat cold symptoms, they may cause dry eyes. If necessary, increase eye drops to counter this side effect. Antidepressants, birth control pills, and blood pressure medication are also known to cause dry eyes.

If you cannot alleviate your dry eye issues, contact us online at New Vision Eye Center or call 772-257-8700 for more information or schedule a consultation with our world-class eye care team.