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"I've worn glasses for 45 years -- this is incredible! I see ordinary objects (trees, flowers, people, houses, cars, etc.) with crispness and sharpness unlike I ever experienced with glasses. My only regret is that I didn't have it done sooner. The results are nothing short of UNBELIEVABLE!"

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Mulqueeny Eye Centers - Blog

Winterize Your Eyes Against Dry Eye Symptoms!

January 11, 2013 @ 06:47 AM -- by JoAnn DeRousse, COT

 

Winterize Your Eyes Against Dry Eye Symptoms!

Cranking up the heater in the car and setting our thermostats to warmer temperatures during the winter may make us feel warm and cozy on those cold winter nights, but the drop in the temperature outside can also exacerbate dry eye symptoms.

Symptoms of Dry Eye

Symptoms of dry eye can vary, but may include redness, grittiness, burning or a feeling that you have something in your eye, light sensitivity and eye fatigue.  If you wear contact lenses, wearing time may be decreased or you may not be able to tolerate your contact lenses at all.  Dry eye can cause your vision to be blurry or fluctuate and strange as it may seem, dry eye can cause excessive tearing which often leads you to believe that your eyes are not dry at all!

Tears are made up of three layers, the oily or lipid layer that lubricates the eye and prevents evaporation of tears, the watery or aqueous layer that nourishes and protects the cornea and the mucin layer which helps the tears adhere to the eye.  Imbalance in any of these layers can cause dry eye symptoms.

What can you do to winterize your eyes against dry eye?

For immediate relief many people reach for over-the-counter artificial tears or ointments found at the local drug store.  Though it may provide temporary relief, artificial tears and other lubricants are just that—temporary.  Be sure to ask your eye doctor which artificial tears are recommended as some drops that are available may actually have an adverse effect on dry eye and may even make your symptoms worsen!

Try a natural approach to alleviate symptoms!

To try a more natural approach to the treatment of dry eye symptoms, there are a few changes you can implement today that may help alleviate your dry eye discomfort.

  • Increase humidity by utilizing a cool mist humidifier in your home or office, particularly at night when you sleep.
  • Lower your computer screen to below eye level and remember to take frequent breaks from staring at the computer and make a conscious effort to blink more frequently while working on the computer or reading. 
  • Increase your intake of fish or include an Omega-3 Fatty Acid with your daily supplements.
  • Protect your eyes from the winter cold and wind by wearing sunglasses or wrap-a-round goggles if you are participating in winter sports like skiing or sledding.
  • Increase the amount of water that you drink to avoid dehydration.
  • Stop smoking or avoid smoking in an enclosed area if you must smoke.

See your Dry Eye Specialist!

Chronic dry eye is a condition that can impact your vision and your lifestyle. The good news is that there are many treatment options available for dry eye treatment.   Prescription eye drops, punctual occlusion (plugs placed in the tear ducts to close the ducts that drain tears from the eye) and thermal massage (LipiFlow®) for blocked eyelid glands are just a few.  The first step is to discuss your dry eye symptoms with an eye doctor who specializes in the treatment of dry eye.  Together you will be able to customize a treatment to manage your dry eye symptoms that are affecting your vision and your lifestyle!