If you’ve been struggling with dry eye, you’re not alone.

It’s something that millions of Americans suffer from, and it’s especially common in the dry climate here in Colorado Springs, particularly during the winter. But, the good news is that there are lots of things you can do to combat dry eye, and in our last blog, we went over a few of them. Keep reading for more tips for relieving and preventing dry eye this winter.

#5. Protect your eyes from the wind.

When you’re dealing with weather conditions that are particularly blustery, your eyes will thank you if you take steps to protect them from the wind. Windy conditions lead to the increased evaporation of tears, which makes your eyes feel dryer. But, you can easily protect your eyes from the wind by wearing sunglasses. If you are big into winter sports, and you spend a good amount of time outside in the winter, consider investing in a pair of goggles that offer all-around protection.

#6. Use a warm compress.

If your dry eye is related to a dysfunction of your meibomian glands — which are the glands located at the rim of the eyelids and are responsible for producing meibum, which is responsible for preventing tears from evaporating in the eyes — using a warm compress can help you find relief. A warm compress will help to remove anything that may be clogging the meibomian glands, making it easier for them to do their job.

#7. Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke.

Did you know that people who smoke are twice as likely to develop dry eye than people who don’t? Just as lots of wind can cause the tears in your eyes to evaporate at an increased rate, so can smoking, as well as exposure to secondhand smoke. It’s common knowledge that tobacco is an eye irritant, and other chemicals in the smoke itself breaks down the protective layer of tears in your eyes. Stopping smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke is one of the best things you can do for your eyes, as well as your health as a whole.

#8. Schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

In some cases, dry eye is mild enough that it can be effectively treated at home using one of the methods we’ve discussed in both Part 1 and Part 2 of this series. However, that’s not true of every case. There are many different causes of dry eye, and finding the right treatment option for you may take the help of a professional. So, if you’ve tried everything, and your eyes still feel dry, scratchy and just all-around uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to contact your eye doctor.

Whether your dry eye is too severe for treatment at home or you think there may be something else causing it, don’t live with the discomfort of dry eye for longer than you have to. Instead, turn to Spectrum Eye Care to schedule an eye exam near you in Colorado Springs. We’ve helped so many people find dry eye relief, and we’re confident that we can help you, too!