THE CAUSES OF DRY EYE
A dry eye is the result of inadequate tear production which is not sufficient to properly lubricate the eyes. There are a number of reasons the eyes can dry out. Some causes include the process of aging, certain medications, damaged tear glands as a result of radiation or inflammation, and chronic medical conditions like lupus, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, and Sjogren’s syndrome. Additionally, tears evaporate when the eyes are exposed to smoke, they are exposed to dry air, and wind, and when you are concentrating and not blinking as often as you need to.
One of the best things you can do when you have dry eyes is to make sure you see an optometry professional at least once a year. The reason why this is so important is to be sure that your eyes have not sustained any damage caused by dry eyes. Here are some other things you can do to help alleviate dry eye symptoms during the winter.
1. NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT ARTIFICIAL TEARS
Artificial tears are your best line of defense in your fight against dry eyes. Be sure to keep them at home, work, and in your car.
2. ADD A LITTLE MOISTURE
Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air in your living space.
3. TAKE BREAKS
When you are working on projects that require visual concentration for an extended period, you should take frequent breaks to avoid eye strain and the drying of the eyes.
4. AVOID SMOKE
If you’re a smoker you need to consider stopping. If you are not a smoker, make sure to limit your exposure as it is an eye irritant.
5. PROTECT YOUR EYES FROM AIR
Avoid exposing your eyes to air coming from fans, car heaters, and hair dryers.
TIME TO SEE AN OPTOMETRY PROFESSIONAL
Understanding how to take care of your eyes during the winter months is your first line of defense. If you find you are having extended blurred vision, difficulties wearing your contacts, issues driving at night, eye fatigue, mucus around your eyes, and stinging and burning of the eyes you need to see a doctor. Additionally, our eye doctor suggests you see an optometry professional if your eyes are red, painful, or irritated. Call us today to schedule an appointment to have your dry eyes evaluated 703-687-4719.