This time of year, our eye care patients often ask for advice from our eye doctors and opticians about ways to find relief from dry, irritated eyes that seem to arrive with every winter season. The eye care tips we provide may seem rudimentary, but sometimes the best advice is that which makes the most common sense.
Winter in Northern California brings with it many wet and rainy days. Ironically, the air as winter weather approaches is not actually wetter. In fact, the air is much drier during the colder months. This can cause your eyes to become irritated.
Tips to Avoid Dry Eye Syndrome
There are a number of safe, effective ways to hydrate your eyes during the dry winter months.
- For wearers of contact lenses, for example, an important basic tip is to use rewetting drops as often as possible. Your contact lenses need to stay hydrated to keep their shape. When they lose moisture, contacts can lose their shape, causing them to cling uncomfortably to your eyes. Keeping your contacts well moisturized this winter is the first step to combating dry eye syndrome.
- Winter weather also brings wind and cold temperatures. Protect your eyes from the elements with such simple measures as always wearing sunglasses and donning a wide-brimmed hat. Sunglasses are not just for summertime — in fact, many people take these two precautions to protect their skin from sun exposure in summer. The wind and cold of winter can be equally damaging to your eyes and wearing the proper attire will help keep them from drying out.
- Another tip for avoiding dry eye syndrome is to buy good eye care products for the sensitive areas around your eyes. We recommend several helpful and safe eye care creams to our patients, including Skinceuticals, to help them protect these areas. While every optometrist or opthamologist will tell their patients it is not good to rub their eyes, sometimes patients will still do so when their eyes are dry or irritated. But rubbing your eyes may also cause eye creams to be rubbed into the eye, causing further irritation. If you’d like to learn more about the products we carry for the sensitive skin areas around the eyes, please contact us for more information.
- Finally, just as the outdoor winter air is drier, so too is the indoor air. A humidifier is helpful for areas of your home or office where you use forced air heaters. Investing in a good humidifier can help keep moisture in the air in all your indoor areas and reduce eye irritations.
Following these simple steps can keep your eyes clear and moisturized all winter long. However, please call our offices in Santa Rosa at 707-546-9800 or Petaluma at 707-763-6400 or complete the contact form below if your eyes continue to feel irritated or to schedule your annual eye exam.