Dry Eye Syndrome can occur in winter, as well as other periods when the weather is particularly dry. Just like your skin, your eyes can become dry when exposed to crispy air or toasty central heating. Discover how dry eyes occur and what you can do to protect yourself this winter.
Winter is on its way! And when it comes to your eye health, the most common condition is dry eye syndrome. Dry eyes can disrupt your sleep, make reading or looking at screens uncomfortable and gets worse as the day goes on.
Dry eye is a condition that occurs when your eyes are unable to produce enough tears to lubricate your eyes properly. Dry eyes can be caused by a number of conditions, including diabetes, but it is most commonly associated with the weather. Around 20 percent of people in the UK suffer from dry eye syndrome, rising to 50 percent in those over 65.
Dry eyes occur when your eyes, unsurprisingly, dry out. In winter, this is caused by exposure to cold, dry air and wind. This is why your eyes tear up in cold wind. When you’re indoors, dry eyes can be caused by central heating. Heating the air evaporates the water in it, creating a dry atmosphere that can dry your eyes out. So whether you’re out in the cold or snuggled up indoors, there is a chance your eyes can dry out. You can experience the same sensation on your skin, particularly on your face and other extremities.
Symptoms of dry eyes include feelings of dryness in the eyes, redness, eyelids sticking together and blurred vision.
How can I stop getting dry eyes?
Just like keeping your skin moisturised in winter, dry eye syndrome can be prevented by moisturising, protecting yourself and maintaining a healthy diet.
- Drink plenty of water
- Wear sunglasses, even though it’s winter (find out why!)
- Eat plenty of Omega-3-rich foods
- Drink less coffee
- Wear glasses rather than contact lenses
- Avoid smoking
- Get plenty of vitamins A, C & E
- Enjoy some warm soup
- Make sure hot air is blowing on your body, not your face
- Avoid excessive drinking
- Blink more often
How can I treat dry eyes?
If the winter weather is getting the better of you and your dry eye symptoms get worse, we recommend eye drops. Eye drops are a safe and proven way to lubricate dry eyes and alleviate irritation. They act immediately and can be used throughout the day.
If you suffer from other eye conditions or are unsure about which eye drops are right for you, speak to your ophthalmologist or visit us in-store today.