How To Avoid Dry Eyes In Winter Artificial Tears For Dry Eye In Winter

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Dry eye is one of the most common vision problems and is caused by alterations in tear secretion. It can occur due to a shortage of tears or deficiencies in their quality, which means that the ocular surface is not well lubricated, which can cause discomfort, keratitis, decreased or loss of vision, and injuries to the cornea and conjunctiva. 

Dry eye: Symptoms

The most common dry eye symptoms are itching, stinging or burning, sensation of a foreign body and dryness, visual fatigue, a feeling of heaviness in the eyelids, increased sensitivity to any irritation and mucous secretion. There may even be continuous tearing due to poor tear quality. 

Causes of dry eye

The main factors that can cause dry eye are:

• Age: Dry eye affects practically 100% of elderly people since ageing causes a deterioration of the tear gland cells. 

• Hormonal changes in women: It can occur during pregnancy, due to the consumption of oral contraceptives and, above all, in the perimenopause period.

• Other ocular pathologies such as blepharitis  (inflammation of the eyelid), conjunctivitis or keratitis (inflammation of the cornea).

• Alteration in blinking, either due to incomplete closure of the eyelid or due to a lack of it. 

• Some systemic or autoimmune diseases, mainly of the rheumatic type (Sjögren's syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus erythematosus, etc.).

The use of contact lenses

The administration of certain eye drops. 

The consumption of certain drugs or medications such as antihistamines, anxiolytics, and contraceptives. Also some beta blockers, antihypertensives, and antidepressants.

Certain ophthalmological surgical procedures.

Continuous reading and prolonged use of screens (computers, mobile phones, or other electronic devices) reduce the number of blinks per minute, which affects the correct lubrication of the eye.

Other factors may be environmental, such as wind storms or dry climates.

Dry eyes in winter

Dry eye syndrome is more common in the winter months because there is less humidity in the environment and strong winds can occur that dry out the eye's natural tears and cause dry eyes. In addition, there is usually a drier environment indoors due to heating.

JLR Eye Hospital based in Kanpur, suggests that It should be taken into account that our eyes may be more exposed if we go to the snow since it works as a reflector of the sun's UV rays and occurs in a climate with unfavourable conditions for our sight.

Avoid dry eye in winter

Despite biological factors or those derived from other external factors, a series of precautions can be taken in winter to help prevent dry eye.

Use protective glasses with UV filters to protect your eyes from the cold, sun and wind, especially in mountain areas with high exposure to sun, ice or snow. You can also use a hat or cap to increase protection.

Avoid strong winds and drafts, as well as do not direct air conditioners or heaters towards your face.

Pay attention to the frequency of blinking during the day, especially while reading or using electronic devices (mobile phones, computers, etc.). Also, reduce exposure to screens as much as possible.

Maintain good eye hygiene, avoiding putting your hands in your eyes and cleaning the tear glands of your eyelids with wipes or neutral soap.

Place humidifiers next to heaters to prevent excessive evaporation of tears.

Moisturize the eyes with artificial tears in cases where it is necessary.

Try to reduce the time you wear contact lenses. 

Dry eye treatment

If there is a primary cause that is causing dry eyes, we should treat it using, first and when possible, artificial tears and lubricating ointments to help control dryness and irritation.

If these topical treatments do not reduce the symptoms, the next option is to plug the patient's tear ducts, since by preventing rapid drainage of tears, ocular hydration is preserved and the eye is protected.

Currently, there are more modern treatments of eye drops derived from autologous serum or the patient's platelet-rich plasma, which may benefit in cases of severe dry eyes. 

We recommend protecting your eyes, especially in environments where we can find risk factors or in cases where there is a greater propensity to suffer from dry eye. It is also important to attend periodic ophthalmological check-ups to promote prevention and early detection and treatment of this pathology.

You can contact us or any of our clinics if you want more information.

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