Dry Eye May Worsen in Winter

Do you have any of the following symptoms? Blurry vision, redness, burning, itching, tearing/watering eyes, foreign body sensation, scratchy feeling and or grit in the eyes? You may be suffering from dry eyes.

Dry eye occurs when your tears can’t provide adequate lubrication or you have poor quality tears.
Common types of dry eye:
 Aqueous tear-deficient dry eye is a disorder in which the lacrimal glands fail to produce enough of the watery component of tears to maintain a healthy eye surface.
 Inflammation of the Meibomian glands. These glands make the lipid part of tears that slows evaporation and keeps the tears stable.

In addition, inflammation of the surface of the eye may occur along with dry eye. If left untreated, this condition can lead to pain, ulcers, or scars on the cornea.

Dry eyes are very common during the winter season because of the cold, harsh winter winds, dry outdoor air and dry indoor heat. These sudden changes in atmosphere produce the onset of moisture evaporation inside your eyes and thus our tear glands do not produce fluid quick enough to maintain the liquid coating that our eyes require to stay hydrated.

Per the American Association of Ophthalmology, approximately 3.2 million women and 1.7 million men over the age of 50 suffer from chronic dry eyes.

So how do you survive another winter season? The key is to try and increase the amount of moisture in your eyes and try to restrict the water from leaving your eyes. While it is difficult to avoid dry eyes altogether during the winter months, there are several steps you can take to prevent them from getting worse.

Minimize dry eyes this winter:

• Wear sunglasses to protect eyes from cold wind and excess light.
• Warm compresses with eyelid scrubs
• Artificial tears; Preserved, Preservative Free, Transient Preservative, Gels/Ointments
• Use a humidifier
• Add Omega-3 fatty acids or fish oil supplements to your diet
• Stay hydrated, drink plenty of fluids
• If the condition becomes worse, visit your local eye doctor

For more information on dry eye visit www.grifineyecenter.com