Friday, January 20, 2012

Tips to Relieve Dry Eye Symptoms this Winter

Now that the cold winter weather has arrived, low humidity increases dry eye problems for some. There are various types of dry eye syndrome and some of the symptoms can be confusing like constant watery eyes. Learn more about dry eye syndrome and some simple steps you can do to control the discomfort:

What is dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome is a lack of lubrication and moisture in the eye. Ironically, patients who have dry eyes often have excessive tearing. 

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

  • Burning eyes
  • Scratchy, gritty eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Excessive tears or watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Red eyes
  • Contact lens discomfort

What are the causes of dry eye?

  • Natural aging process - As we age, the production of tears diminishes.  At age 65, we produce about 60% fewer tears than we did at age 18.  Almost all people tend to get drier eyes as they get older.
  • Contact lenses - Wearing contact lenses is one of the leading causes of dry eye, due to the increase in tear evaporation resulting in irritation.
  • Disruption of blinking - Since blinking helps lubricate the eye by spreading tears, any disruption of blinking, which can occur with reading and computer work, may result in dry eye.
  • Medications - Antihistamines, decongestants, heart medication, birth control pills, certain blood pressure medicines and antidepressants can also cause dry eye.
  • Environmental Factors - Sun, wind, smoke and air conditioners can also cause dry eye.

Although there is no known cure for dry eye, here are some simple steps you can take to keep your eyes lubricated this winter season: 

  • Over-the-counter artificial tears and ointments can be helpful to provide moisture and lubrication for the surface of your eye (available at your local pharmacy).
  • Use a humidifier 
  • Avoid excessive air movement by decreasing the speed of ceiling and oscillating fans.
  • Remember to blink when reading, watching TV or working on the computer
  • When driving point the air vents away from your eyes
If chronic dry eye symptoms persist, prescription eye drops may help, contact TLC Eyecare & Laser Centers to learn more at 877.852.8463 or


  1. According to my vision doctor 83646, Normally harmless substances that cause problems for individuals who are predisposed to allergic reactions are called allergens. The most common airborne allergens that cause eye allergies are pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Eye allergies also can be caused by reactions to certain cosmetics or eye drops, including artificial tears used for treating dry eyes that contain preservatives.

  2. The uses of computers in education, iPads, and leisure, are having negative effects on our children’s eyes. A doctor at Eye Medics explained to me that viewing devices such as phones, computers and tablets, can reduce my blink rate 30% to 40%, causing a rapid breakdown of my tear film which causes dry eyes. Therefore, even children can experience dry eyes. pediatric eye specialists