Preventing Dry Eyes During Fall Weather
As summer is coming to an end, colder weather is on the horizon. With cooler conditions come changes to your eyes, especially in terms of drier eyes. This is due to the fact that a change in weather conditions affects the number of tears that your eyes need to produce to maintain eye comfort. When you live in the Orange County area, the weather can become drier than most places, and could negatively impact your eyesight.
That being said, you should not feel discouraged. There are many solutions you can try that will help prevent eye dryness, and make the fall season as comfortable as possible for you.
Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eyes
If you feel discomfort in your eyes, but aren’t sure what is causing it, there are many symptoms of dry eyes that you should be aware of. Here are the following signs that you may be suffering from dry eyes:
- A dry, itching or burning sensation located in both eyes
- Feeling like there’s something gritty stuck in your eyes, or an irritating scratching sensation
- Light sensitivity – if you notice yourself blinking or squinting excessively, this may be an indicator
- Not being able to focus your eyes because they feel extremely dry
- Even though dry eyes implies dryness, watery eyes are also a common symptom
The Common Culprits
Dry eyes don’t just turn up out of the blue – there are many triggers or causes that lead to them. Here are some of the most common culprits:
- Air conditioners and/or indoor heaters
- Seasonal allergies
- Certain medications, which can include antihistamines, antidepressants, or birth control pills. Check with your doctor to see if your prescribed medication could have the side effect of drying your eyes
- Contact lens issues such as ones that fit poorly or haven’t been cleaned properly
- Too much time spent in front of a computer, or reading for too long
- Tear ducts that suffer from blockages
The Ultimate Dry Eye Treatments
If you feel at a loss, there are many treatments you can use to help with your dry eyes. Here are some solutions that could be of benefit to you:
- Use a humidifier – this helps with moisturizing the eyes.
- If allergies are the root cause, take antihistamines or use eye drops specific to allergies. If you put your eye drops in the fridge, this can also be quite refreshing.
- As mentioned before, if dry eyes are a side effect of your medication, check with your doctor to find any alternatives.
- Monitor how long you have kept your contacts in your eyes – it is essential not to wear contacts for an extended period of time. Another important step with contacts is to make sure you always wash your hands before touching them.
- Take as many breaks as possible from computer or reading time, and if you must look at both of these things for a long time, make sure you blink often.
- Turn off your ceiling fans as often as you can.
- If your eyes are very dry and irritated, put a warm washcloth over them.
- Never share your eye drops with anyone, and make sure they haven’t expired.
- Stay hydrated throughout the day.
- If you venture outside and it’s still sunny out in the fall (as is often the case in Orange County), wear sunglasses as protection. They will even protect you from windy weather.
- Maintain a healthy diet, take a multivitamin, and get enough exercise.
Dry eyes don’t have to get you down. These tips should help you improve your eyesight, and act as a prevention of long-term eye damage and vision loss. If you try a number of these solutions to no avail, book an appointment with Dr. Ghosheh of Advanced Eye Medical.
He will perform an exam that determines any possible eye diseases, general health conditions, or other factors that could be leading to your uncomfortable dry eyes. You don’t want to leave this for too long in case it can have a permanent, detrimental effect on your vision for the long haul.
We hope these tips were of help to you, and we look forward to seeing you soon!