Tips For Managing Dry Eyes During Winter

Tips for Managing Dry Eyes During Winter

We hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and celebrated the New Year in style. After overindulging during the festive period, many of us will be keen to find ways to embrace a healthier lifestyle as we enter a new year. For some, that includes participating in ‘Dry January’. It’s a popular time of year to abstain from anything alcoholic to detox our bodies and give our livers a rest and a chance to recuperate.

But we want to highlight another dry issue, and it is one that doesn’t get talked about enough – dry eye disease. It is a common eye condition which occurs when your eyes are dry. Three layers of tears, known as the tear film, cover and protect the surface of our eyes. This film lubricants, nourishes and protects our eyes and is continually replenished every time we blink. If this system stops working efficiently, our eyes don’t receive the quality or quantity of tears they need, which results in dry eye disease.

Dry Eyes in Winter

Dry eyes in winter are quite common


Common signs and symptoms of dry eye

Dry eye symptoms are often at their worst during winter, thanks to cooler outside temperatures and harsh windy weather. So, it’s common to experience the condition from the start of December to the end of February. Various symptoms will indicate if you are suffering from dry eye. For example, itching eyes, soreness, your eyes feeling gritty, appearing to be red, blurry vision and sensitivity to light. One of the most common signs of dry eye, which can be confusing, is that your eyes tend to be more watery than usual, and you constantly want to wipe the tears away. People don’t associate watery eyes with dry eye. It sounds like a contradiction, but your eyes tend to stream as your tear ducts produce more tears to try to alleviate the symptoms.

There are quite a few reasons why we suffer from dry eye. Our eyes tend to become drier the older we get. People who wear contact lenses can be more prone to dry eye, as contact lenses act as a barrier between the eyes and tear film that allows tears to flow across the surface of their eyes. Working in an air-conditioned environment and spending too much time at a computer screen without a break can lead to dry eye. We tend to blink much less when concentrating on the screen. And the action of blinking helps to move tears across the eye’s surface. Certain medications can also contribute to dry eye.


Dry Eyes Caused By Prolonged Screen Time

Dry eyes caused by prolonged screen time


Around a third of UK adults suffer from dry eye disease

According to reports, approximately a third of the adult population in the UK suffers from dry eye disease. This figure is increasing each year as more and more people increase the amount of time they spend using a computer screen and also spend more leisure time outside, both of which are proven to be factors in increasing the risk of developing dry eye disease.

Dry eye disease is a chronic and progressive condition, so it’s essential to know how to manage it effectively if you experience it. There are many products on the market which can help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye. Here at Respectacle Company, we carry the product range from Scope Ophthalmics. They have a comprehensive range of award-winning products to treat various eye conditions, including dry eye disease, such as the OPTASE® Moist Heat Mask and HYCOSAN® lubricating eye drops.

Dry Eyes Heat Mask

Heat mask for dry eyes

Dry Eye Drops

Eye drops for dry eyes

Advice to help relieve dry eyes

Here are some tips to help you manage the symptoms of dry eye disease:

  1. Preservatives can cause further irritation to the surface of the eye, so always use preservative free products. The Hycosan range of eye drops we stock are preservative-free lubricants.
  2. Regular blinking is essential. Every time we blink, we produce new tears, which then spread across the surface of our eyes to keep them hydrated and lubricated. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: look twenty meters away every twenty minutes and blink twenty times. It is most important to follow the 20-20-20 rule if you do a lot of computer work, as we tend to blink less when concentrating. Doing so will help relieve strain and sore eyes.
  3. To help relieve sore, dry eyes, we recommend using a heat mask for 10 minutes. A heat mask will not only relax your eyes but also help soften any oils in the glands, which, if made loose, will allow oils to move more freely across the eye’s surface. Oils in the glands will also prevent tears from evaporating.
  4. It’s also helpful to gently massage your eyelids. This will help move the oils from the glands in the eyelids.
  5. Hydrating your eyes with sprays and drops for dry eye symptoms will also help manage the condition.

If you are suffering from dry eye disease, we stock a range of products to help. We can advise which is the best product to use depending on the severity of the condition. Pop into our Manor Walk practice so we can talk you through the most effective way to manage the symptoms. Alternatively, visit our online store to shop the range of Hycosan eye drops.


Further reading:

Why it’s important to have regular eye examinations

What to do in an eye emergency

Common eye conditions