The cold winds of January cause more than frosty breath and the need to bundle up in layers of warm clothing. In the winter months dry eye is a common complaint. The combination of indoor heating systems and reduced humidity along with our tendency to spend more hours unblinking in front of screens, can dry out the eyes. If your eyes feel itchy, burning, irritated or sore, then it is very likely that you have dry eye. When you feel that your eyes are irritated then it is already too late, much like when you feel your tongue or lips dry then you are very dehydrated. Not only will lubricating your eyes prevent discomfort but also it is critical to improve vision. If the window of your eye is dry then just like the window in your car, your vision will be cloudy.
You know the chances are high that you might develop dry eye this winter, so why not be proactive? Your holistic optometrist recommends that you make lubricating your eyes a simple part of your daily routine. Consider artificial tears to be as important to your morning routine as brushing your teeth. Preventing dry eye is far preferred to undergoing treatment.
But don’t stop there. Remember to take your Omega-3s.
Researchers out of Louisiana State University have discovered that Omega-3 not only helps protect cells critical to vision, but it ‘preconditions’ photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to survive. That means Omega-3s are good for you today AND tomorrow.
While not everyone tends to cocoon in the winter, the outdoor elements can also be harsh on your eyes. Wind alone can blow smoke, dust, allergens, snow and pollution into your eyes and cause irritation. Protect yourself with prescription eyewear or sunglasses. If you’re planning on enjoying outdoor sports, be sure to wear wrap-around glasses or goggles to avoid contaminants getting to your eyes.
Get a grip on winter and have a chat with your holistic optometrist or one of her associated wellness experts to learn more about keeping your eyes healthy during the cold winter months.