Thursday, October 30, 2014

5 Tips to Prevent Dry Eye This Winter

The winter season is fast approaching and that change in weather can affect muscle, bone, and even eye health. According to recent statistics, approximately 33 million Americans suffer from eye health issues like dry eye syndrome. Although there is no cure for dry eye syndrome, there are some effective treatment options available to keep your eyes healthy during the winter months.

5 Tips to Prevent Dry Eye This Winter:

1. Specialized Treatments

LipiFlow® is a revolutionary dry eye treatment that opens up and cleans out the inflamed, clogged oil glands by gently heating the glands in the eyelid then “milking” out the inflammation-causing, clogged oils. The treatment is painless and only takes 12 minutes to perform. Ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler explains how easy the procedure is and even says, “There is no downtime, just like having your teeth cleaned at the dentist.”

2. Warm Compresses

Dry eye is caused by a lack of natural tears, which are composed of water and a much-needed oily substance. Over time, cells in the glands may harden, keeping the oil from getting into the tear film. Without that oil, the water in tears evaporates too quickly, leaving eyes feeling dry. A warm compress can help liquefy those plugs so the oil can flow into tears.

3. Artificial Tears
Over the counter eye drops like Visine and Clear Eyes are excellent methods for treating dry eye, although short-term. These eye drops are synthetic chemicals that mimic natural tears, providing the eye with the lubrication they need to remain comfortable throughout the day.

4. Keep Distance from Fireplaces and Indoor Heaters

During the winter months, it is normal for fireplaces and indoor heaters to be regularly in use. What many people don’t tend to realize is their effect on the eyes. Standing or sitting too close to indoor heaters and fireplaces can alter the room’s humidity level and dry out the eyes dramatically.

5. Sunglasses

The sun and wind can be harmful throughout the year; during the winter months, the snow on the ground can double as a blinding reflection surface and the harsh wind can lead to intense dry eye. This reflection of the sun directs sunlight right to the eyes, so wearing sunglasses can help protect eyes from harmful UV rays as well as keep cold wind from hitting the eyes.

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