Relief from winter eye irritation
We may find that the advent of this windy, cold, dry season can dehydrate us in various ways. The harsh weather can lead to chapped lips and the development of tender, rashlike patches of dry skin on our knuckles and other areas. Though we may not give it much thought, our eyes can also become dehydrated very easily, leading to irritation and discomfort.
Even when we are finally shielded from the harsh winds, the comfort of warm enclosed spaces does not always help with restoring the moisture lost. With heating units turned up at work, at home or even in the car, the air’s natural humidity can disappear completely, irritating your eyes.
Staring at computers, television sets and tablets for extended periods is a great contributor to dry eyes, because while we focus on these devices we have a tendency to blink less. The combination of windy weather, dry heating and frequent use of monitors creates the perfect environment for the most common ocular problem in the world: dry eye syndrome.
The most typical symptom of this is the horribly irritating feeling of having a speck of dust, or an eyelash, in your eye, accompanied by the unpleasant burning, stinging sensation that is not relieved by frequent blinking. Vision may become blurry and the eyes may become sensitive to light.
Restoring comfort and relief
There are several ways to hydrate dry eyes. One of the easiest is by drinking lots of fluids, particularly when the weather is very dry or the heating is turned up. This will also aid the body’s natural tear production. The addition of a cold-water humidifier to your home will keep the air from getting too dry.
When the suffering begins, many people reach for the temporary solution of artificial tears, moistening gels, eye drops or mists, but these solutions are not always sufficient to restore the healthy tear film, eliminate the unpleasant symptoms and improve vision permanently. Some people have to apply eye drops eight to ten times a day, which is not only inconvenient but can be quite pricey.
The most efficient, natural method of eliminating dry eye syndrome lies in preventing tears from draining away by temporarily plugging up the tear ducts. FirstMed’s ophthalmologist is one of the very few doctors in all of Hungary who performs the safe, painless procedure of inserting punctal plugs.
Following an eye examination by our ophthalmologist, the plugs can be inserted without pain in less than a minute, and relief from symptoms can be expected within a day or two. If the plugs do not prove to be comfortable they can be easily removed by being flushed from the tear ducts.
Do not aim heating units,
including those in the car, directly at your face because these can dry your eyes excessively.
Ventilate often and mind
the humidity level in your home.
At work, look away from the screen every 20 minutes for a few seconds at a time, blinking repeatedly.
Drink plenty of water.
Do not use eye drops that constrict the blood vessels of the eye or contain cortisone because these may exacerbate the problem.
Do not smoke, especially not in an enclosed space.