8 Ways to Combat Dry Eye Symptoms This Winter

8 Ways to Combat Dry Eye Symptoms This Winter

February 10th, 2023

Winter is the season of dryness. Many people experience dry hands, cracked lips, and flaky elbows, all of which we know to treat with creams, balms, and lotions. 

Winter is also the season that can worsen the symptoms of dry eye. While it can be more irritating than any dermatological dryness, most people don’t always know how to relieve dry eye symptoms in an effective way. 

The following are eight ways you can combat dry eye this winter!

1. Consume Enough Liquids 

Notice the advice isn’t just to ‘drink more water,’ which you’ve heard before, especially during the summer. It can be hard to psych yourself up to drink cold water when it’s cold outside, so get creative. 

Hot tea, especially herbal teas, and warm liquids like broths and soups take the chill out of you and replenish your water needs. This might be a good time to add bone broth to your daily habit or a good cup of green tea with all its health benefits.

2. Get Offline or Spend Less Time On Screens

By reducing screen time on digital devices, you’re giving your eyes a break. Staring at a screen for hours can have an effect on the dryness of your eyes because you blink far less. 

You may not have realized that, but reduced blinking means less moisture is spread out across your eye from the tear film that blinking redistributes. This tear film is what helps to keep your eyes healthy and free of infection.

3. Think About Blinking

Blinking is important for the reasons mentioned above, but when you’re naturally blinking less because you’re using a screen or digital device, you have to voluntarily focus on blinking. Set a timer on your phone or watch to ‘ding’ once every five minutes, and when you hear that sound, close your eyes for five seconds, or blink once per second, counting up to five. 

4. Invest in a Humidifier to Replace Much-Needed Moisture in the Air 

The winter months change the quality of the air in our homes and the places we work. Heated air often has less moisture, and if we’re not opening windows to the outside, the humidity level drops. 

Keeping a humidifier running will create a moist environment that will help your eyes feel better. 

5. Use a Warm Compress to Relieve Dry or Fatigued Eyes 

This is a great way to treat yourself at the end of the day. Take a clean washcloth, wet it with warm water, wring it out, and place it over your eyes for five minutes. 

If you can do this twice a day, morning and night, you’ll feel the benefits.

6. Keep Artificial Tears and Eye Drops Nearby

Adding moisture to your eyes with an over-the-counter product is easy and convenient. Try to look for a preservative-free solution if you use eye drops routinely. It’s better for your eye health. 

At night, try a thicker formulation so they’ll stay in overnight. 

7. Clean Your Eyelids Carefully

Dry eye can be worsened by lids that are crusty or gunky. You can use a clean washcloth for this purpose or over-the-counter eyelid scrubs or wipes. 

If you want to try a homemade version, use one part water to one part baby shampoo, close your eyes, and apply with a Q-tip to the base of your eyelashes. Rinse with clean, cool water.

8. Take a Break From Contact Lenses and Eye Makeup

It may sound radical, but a rest from either or both when symptoms are particularly bad can bring relief.

Are you experiencing symptoms of dry eye syndrome? Schedule an appointment at Laser Eye Center in Huntsville, AL, today!