Care for Dry Eyes When Cold Weather Blows In
Dry eye syndrome describes a chronic eye condition that is just what it sounds like: dry eyes. Simply put, your eyes are missing enough lubrication to feel moist and comfortable. While this condition varies in severity from mild to extreme, most patients experience similar irritating eye symptoms of burning, redness, the sensation of sand or grit under their eyelids, and a need to blink constantly. A number of causes can lead to this disorder, and winter and dry eyes are a common combination.
Eye Exam for Dry Eyes
If you have dry eyes, it is important to schedule an appointment with our Whitehall eye doctors to determine the cause and identify the most personalized treatment. We’ll perform a comprehensive eye exam for dry eyes. Testing may include some quick and painless procedures to measure your tear quantity, the osmolarity (salt concentration) of your tears, and the evaporation rate of your tear film. We will also ask you questions about your health, any medications you are taking, and lifestyle. A proper diagnosis is required in order to recommend the most suitable dry eye treatment for each individual patient.
Dry Eye Treatments in Our Whitehall Eye Care Center
The goal of any effective dry eye treatment is to improve all three components of your tear film: mucus, water, and oil. The front line of treatment for dry eye syndrome is lubricating eye drops or ointments.
Restasis, a topical cyclosporine, is perhaps the most well-known treatment for dry eye. It can enhance the production of water in your tears, as well as upgrade the oily components.
However, if you suffer from an eyelid disease or hygiene issue, it must be treated to help relieve the symptoms of dry eye. Conditions such as Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) and blepharitis are common causes, as they interfere with the quality and quantity of your tears. We offer treatment for these ocular disorders in our clinic.
Additional treatments include punctal plugs, which are tiny silicone plugs that we insert into the tear drainage hole in the corner of your eye. Punctal plugs enable tears to disperse better across the surface of your eye.
How to Cope with Winter and Dry Eyes
- Blustery winds hitting your face, frigid air, and indoor heating are all seasonal problems that remove moisture from your atmosphere and your eyes. To protect your eyes, here are some helpful tips:
- Use artificial tears to restore moisture to your eyes. Ask our Whitehall optometrist to recommend the best eye drops for your condition.
- Put some distance between you and your heater or roaring fireplace, at both home and at work.
- Wear sunglasses or goggles when outdoors. Wraparound designs are ideal for blocking your eyes from harmful winds.
- Wearing your eyeglasses instead of contact lenses may be helpful. We also advise you to ask about switching to a different type of contact lens, as some materials are better for dry eyes.
- Use a humidifier to reverse the drying effects of your heater.
- Apply warm compresses to your eyes.
- Take eye health supplements, such as omega-3 fatty acids.
Dry eyes are a chronic condition that can worsen in the winter. If the tips above do not alleviate your symptoms fully, you may require medical assistance. Please contact us to reserve an eye exam for dry eyes in our Whitehall, PA, office.
- Monday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Tuesday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Thursday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Friday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Saturday: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
- Sunday: 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM