Dry eyes are caused for a multitude of reasons. No matter the cause, it is incredibly frustrating––and uncomfortable––to experience dry eyes that just don’t seem to get better. There are a few factors unique to the winter season which cause dry eyes.
As the temperature drops and the air gets colder, you might notice that your eyes become more dry. The air cannot hold as much humidity as warmer air, and the resulting lack of moisture leads to dryness. Our eyes are comprised largely of water, and we need a layer of tears in order to maintain properly lubricated eyes and eyelids. The dryness of winter impacts each of these, and therefore, leads to discomfort. The accelerated speed of evaporation in the winter weather adds an additional reason why one might experience dry eyes and irritation.
Reflected UV Radiation
You most likely don’t associate snow and winter with needing sun protection. Most of us know that it’s important to wear protective hats, sunglasses, and sunblock during summer, but don’t recognize that it’s just as important to do so in winter. Light reflects, and if you’ve ever tried to read a book in the bright sunlight, you know that it’s especially apparent when reflecting off a white surface! A landscape of snow provides the perfect surface for sunlight to reflect off of! All of this bright light and UV exposure is dangerous for the eyes, and dry eyes can even increase sensitivity to sunlight.
The dry outdoor air isn’t the only place we should be aware of our environment. When we heat our homes, or sit by the fireplace, we are exposing our eyes to dry air. Warm dry air is even more damaging than cool dry air. It’s extremely dehydrating and leads more quickly to irritation and discomfort. Recirculated air contains substances which will only heighten the risk of dry eye.
How to Prevent Winter Dry Eye
Houseplants and humidifiers
These will both help to add moisture to the air. Consequently, your eyes will have more moisture and you will not experience the uncomfortable feeling that dry air will cause.
Eye drops help to create artificial tears and lubricate the eyelids. Ask us which eye drops will work best for you and your Ortho-K lenses.
Opt for a pair of UV-protected sunglasses. These will ensure that your eyes are shielded from the harmful UV rays which reflect off of the snow. Tinted lenses will also help to reduce eye pain from looking into harsh lights and the glare of the sun.
Especially if you wear contacts, you might be more prone to dry eyes and the discomfort which accompanies them. We want to help you prevent this feeling and improve your vision and eye health at the same time!
If you have any questions about how to best protect your eyes during the winter season, or would like to schedule an appointment, do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to assist you and ensure that you have the best possible experience with your Ortho-K lenses. Give us a call at (435) 704-2020 today!