Have you noticed your eyes have started to feel a bit tired with the change in season? It may be simpler to treat than you think…
As the days shorten, and the temperature drops, we all start turning on the central heating, and the climate control in the car starts blowing out hot air. We often spend even more time indoors and out of the cold weather. When we do wrap up and venture outdoors, it’s windier than the previous months and this can all have an effect on our eyes. The change in these environments can increase the evaporation of the eye’s tear layer and cause the front of the eye to become drier.
If you’ve noticed this, fear not… There are many ways to help reduce dry eye:
- A variety of different wetting drops are available to keep the front of the eyes moist – preservative free are generally better.
- If out in the wind, wear DV glasses or sunglasses if bright. This not only protects your eyes from the wind, but also helps with low sun.
- If you’re a contact lens wearer, a change in season can sometimes make your eyes feel dry – using suitable wetting drops should help to solve this. If you have worn the same lenses for a number of years, it’s also worth checking with your optician to see if there are any improvements to lenses available that may help.
- Blinking exercises can help if working on a screen in a dry environment. When using a computer screen, our blinking rate decreases by about 60%, meaning our eyes dry out at a greater speed than normal. As a top tip, try to remember to blink every time you hit the space bar on your keyboard or laptop!*
- A specially designed heated bag (e.g. eye bag) can be used to keep tear glands free flowing to help keep the eyes moist.
- Drink water! It is important to keep hydrated to help keep your eyes moist and reduce dry eye.
- A good diet is thought to help with dry eye. Foods rich in omega 3 and 6, found in fish oils are often recommended. Also foods that provide anti-oxidant vitamins may improve your dry eye symptoms.
If your dry eye persists, or you notice any changes in your vision, it’s always best to seek professional advice from your local optometrist. Book an eye test or pop in to your local Vision Express if you have any queries about your eye health.
* Blehm C, Vishnu S, Khattak A, Mitra S, Yee RW. Computer vision syndrome: A review. Surv Ophthalmol 2005;50:3: 253-262.