Winter weather can present lots of health challenges for your eyes. The most common issue this time of year is dryness. The reason this occurs is because with indoor heating come a drastic drop in humidity. This dry air environment causes increased evaporation of tears resulting in a drier ocular surface. Most people will experience some degree of eye dryness in the winter but it is especially problematic for chronic dry eye sufferers, older women, people on several ocular medications and people taking oral medications that can dry the eyes (such as anti depressants and antihistamines). Common dry eye symptoms include redness, burning, blurred vision especially with prolonged reading and generalized eye pain. Some simple ways to treat dry eyes include frequent artificial tears (preferably preservative-free, these are all over the counter), using a humidifier in your bedroom or at your work station and taking omega 3 fatty acid and flaxseed oil. Many of these over the counter drops come in a “gel-drop” form that give longer lubrication. We certainly recommend seeing your eye doctor as there are several prescription options when home remedies don’t work.
We at the Alabama Vision Center wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!