Don’t let dry eye get you down this winter.

Do your eyes ever feel overly dry and scratchy? Are your eyes red and sensitive to the light? Do you feel like something is in your eye, even when there’s nothing in it? These are all symptoms of dry eye, and it’s something that’s all too common here in Colorado Springs, especially during the winter. But, there’s good news! There are many things you can do to combat dry eye throughout the winter months, and our optometrist at Spectrum Eye Care has come up with this guide to help you do just that.

#1. Use artificial tears, but choose wisely.

Artificial tears can go a long way towards keeping your eyes moist and comfortable, and with most of them, you can treat your eyes up to four times per day. However, you’ll want to avoid any artificial tears designed to reduce redness, as these can actually be more irritating to your eyes. Additionally, if you find yourself using artificial tears more often than four times a day, pick a preservative-free option, as these can be used more often.

#2. Stay hydrated.

One of the best things you can do to combat dry eye is to make sure that your body is properly hydrated at all times. When your body is dehydrated for a prolonged period of time, it will no longer be able to produce the tears necessary to keep your eyes moist and comfortable, and it can make clinical dry eye worse. Make it a point to drink lots of water and other liquids throughout the day.

#3. Combat the dry heat in your home with a humidifier.

Dry eye is usually so much more pronounced in the winter, and a big reason for this is that our heaters dry out the air quite a bit. Why? Because the temperature of the air actually determines how much moisture it can hold. A great way to combat winter dryness is by keeping a humidifier running. There are even whole home humidifiers available if the problem is bad enough to warrant that kind of investment.

#4. Practice the 20-20-20 rule to prevent digital eye strain.

Did you know that staring at a screen all day can irritate your eyes and cause them to feel dry and uncomfortable? This is because, statistically, people blink about 50 percent less often when they’re looking at a screen. And, if you don’t blink as much, there are fewer tears being distributed in your eyes. The 20-20-20 rule says that you should look away from the screen for 20 seconds, focusing on something at least 20 feet away, every 20 minutes, and following it will help to prevent the effects of digital eye strain and dry eye.

To learn about more helpful tips for combating dry eye this winter, please make sure that you stay tuned for our next blog. In the meantime, if your dry eye is severe and you’d like professional help keeping it at bay, schedule an appointment with our eye doctor in Colorado Springs today!