How Cold Winter Air Can Make Dryness Worse

Winter is here so are the cold winter winds. Time to bring out your mittens and jackets, and if you suffer from dry eyes, bring your eye lubricants, too, for nothing can make dry eyes worse than cold, dry air. 
Why Do Dry Eyes Get Worse in the Winter?
In healthy eyes our tear glands produce tears to keep the eyes nourished and functioning properly. People with dry eyes do not produce enough moisture to lubricate the eye. This condition is known as dry eye syndrome. 
In the winter, the humidity levels drop. Indoor air is even worse if you don’t have a humidifier as the little moisture available in the air is zapped up by your indoor heating. The dry winter air causes moisture in the eyes to evaporate faster. When this happens, you feel an itchy or burning sensation in your eyes. 
When the symptoms of dry eye begin, the eye (or rather the brain) produces watery tears to moisture the surface of the eye. Although the moisture helps ease the symptoms, it’s not enough. Some people, on the other hand, tear excessively. This is the result of the eye sending distress signals to the brain, and the brain responds by sending signals to the eyes to flood the eyes with tears. 
Who Will Experience Drier Eyes in the Winter?
*People who wear contact lenses
*People recovering from LASIK or laser eye surgery
*Pre- and post-menopausal woman
How To Tell If You Have Dry Eyes
People with low levels of lubrication in their eyes may experience the following symptoms: 
*Sensitivity to light
*A feeling as though there’s a foreign body in the eye
*Blurring of vision 
Managing Dry Eyes
No cure for dry eyes exists, but there are several easy ways you can manage the symptoms and have a more enjoyable experience this winter season. Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, a top laser eye surgery clinic based in Houston, Texas, recommends the following:
*Drinks lots of fluids to help moisten your eyes
*Use artificial tears or lubricating eye drops to add moisture to your eyes and prevent natural tears from evaporating quickly. These artificial drops are readily available over the counter at drugstores. 
*Blink more. When doing tasks that require visual focus, such as using a computer, we tend to blink less often, which can worse dryness of the eyes. Blinking helps to keep the eye lubricated, so try to do it as often as you can. 
*Wear glasses. The dry winter wind can easily zap moisture out of your eyes. Wear glasses to keep the dry air away from hitting your eyes when going outdoors. 
*Wearing a hat with a wide brim can also help prevent dry air from hitting your eyes directly. 
*Install a humidifier to improve the air condition in your home of office. 
*A warm compress to the eye at night can help with tear secretion. 
*Increase your intake of omega-3 and fish oil as they have been found to help in increasing the flow of moisture to the eyes. 
Sugarland Eye & Laser Center leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Sugarland Eye & Laser Center, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at 
About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Sugarland Eye & Laser Center. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here. 

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