For most of us, trying to stay warm in the winter means cozy blankets, big sweaters, and enjoying the benefits of indoor heating. But the use of heaters, as lovely as they are, can contribute to dry eye symptoms. Dry eye is one of the most common eye-health concerns and it’s important to be aware of the risks. If left untreated, dry eye can worsen and lead to damaged corneas and impaired vision. Optometric Associates has years of experience providing specialized treatment for dry eye and offering patients much deserved relief.
Heaters May Lead to Dry Eye
Dry eye also results when the eye either doesn’t produce enough tears or doesn’t produce quality tears to properly lubricate the eye, leading to red, irritated and itchy eyes. Poor quality tears lack the adequate balance of water, mucus, or lipids, leaving the eye insufficiently protected. A heater can, at times, further exacerbate the symptoms.
Heaters, specifically car heaters, can cause dry eyes due to the dry environment they create and the proximity of the blowing air to the eyes. Moreover, the heat leads the tears to evaporate, leaving the eyes unprotected.
Prevent Dry Eye This Winter
While it may be instinctive to switch on the heater upon entering your car, especially if you drive to work in the early morning when it’s coldest, make sure you take these steps to prevent dry eye this winter season.
- Direct the warm airflow to your body, not your face. We aren’t telling you to turn off heaters altogether, just to make sure the warm air isn’t directly hitting your eyes.
- Wear sunglasses. They’ll shield the eyes from winds, whether cool or warm and prevent tears from evaporating.
- Keep hydrated. Drinking plenty of water is not just for the summer! Consuming extra fluids will help keep all parts of the body hydrated, including your eyes. Limit coffee intake, as it can be dehydrating.
- Remember to blink. We often forget to blink when trying to focus on the road while driving. Being conscientious of this will ensure your eyes remain lubricated and refreshed with every blink.
If you suffer from dry eye or have any questions about your eye health, don’t hesitate to contact us at Optometric Associates. We are here for you and are committed to providing you with the relief that you deserve. Call us today to book your appointment. Happy winter!
Optometric Associates provides dry eye relief and treatment to patients from New Holland, Lancaster, Philadelphia, Reading, and throughout Pennsylvania.