While the winter months are characterized by holiday events, family time and long breaks from work, there is one thing about the colder months that people generally don’t look forward to. Can you guess what it is?
It’s dry eye(s). (If you said the cold or snow, you’re also right).
What Causes Dry Eye? What Does Dry Eye Feel Like?
According to the National Eye Institute, dry eyes occur when “eyes don’t make enough tears to stay wet, or when your tears don’t work correctly.” It affects millions of Americans every year, and dry eyes can manifest in many different ways.
What are the Symptoms of Dry Eye?
Typically, people with dry eyes experience the below symptoms:
- A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes.
- Stringy mucus in or around your eyes.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Eye redness.
- A sensation of having something in your eyes.
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses.
- Difficulty with nighttime driving.
- Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes.
How Can You Treat Dry Eye?
One of the most popular ways to treat dry eye is through over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops, commonly referred to as artificial tears. Preservative-based eye drops stay on the shelf for a long time, whereas non-preservative eye drops come in several disposable vials that you use once and throw away. Artificial tears work to moisten your eyes, and alleviate some of the aforementioned symptoms.
Another treatment for dry eye is the use of scleral contact lenses, which are an effective method for treating dry eyes. The lenses cover your entire corneal surface, protecting your eyes from irritants such as smoke, wind, dust, and other debris. The lens design is more comfortable to wear for extended periods, decreasing the need for artificial tears.
In addition to these treatment options, consider the below recommendations:
- Avoid air blowing in your eyes, like sitting in front of a fan or air conditioning unit when working or staring at a screen.
- Add moisture to the air. Humidifiers are great at moistening the air and creating a supple environment.
- Consider wearing wraparound sunglasses or other protective eyewear to protect from harsh winds.
- Avoid smoking, as the chemicals found in cigarettes and other tobacco products can worsen symptoms of dry eye.
- Use artificial tears regularly.
Do you suffer from dry eye? Looking for ophthalmology services at prices you can afford and at a facility you’ll love? Contact us at https://www.myvisionunlimited.com/book-appointment to book an appointment today.
“Dry Eye.” National Eye Institute, n.d., https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/dry-eye#:~:text=Dry%20eye%20happens%20when%20your,millions%20of%20Americans%20every%20year. Accessed 17 June 2022.