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In winter, besides struggling to stay warm, a lot of us suffer from dry, itchy and scratchy eyes.
That’s why we’ve created this blog to explain what Dry Eye Syndrome is and how you can easily manage it.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Characterised by a lack of sufficient moisture and lubrication in the eyes, Dry Eye Syndrome can lead to discomfort, redness, and even vision problems if left untreated. According to the American Optometric Association, Dry Eye Syndrome, the evaporation of tears, can be caused by a wide variety of factors, including environmental conditions, such as dry air, cold wind, or even excessive digital screen time. The natural aging process (those over 65 are most vulnerable), certain medications, and medical conditions like diabetes and arthritis can also play an added role.

Women are also more prone to this condition due to hormonal changes brought on by menopause, oral contraceptive usage, and pregnancy. Additionally, poor blink quality (not blinking enough per day) and insufficient tear production can also aggravate the problem.

Artificial tears and lubrication drops. Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops offer temporary relief and comfort by boosting the production of natural tears.
Prescription drugs. Depending on the severity, your doctor may advise you to use medication that helps produce more tears or lessen inflammation.
Lifestyle modifications. Small adjustments like taking frequent breaks from digital screens, using a humidifier, and staying away from smoke-filled rooms can also help to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.
Nutritional supplements. According to research, Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish oil or flaxseed oil, may alleviate dry eye symptoms by reducing inflammation and improving tear quality.

However, it’s important to also make changes to your environmental conditions as mentioned above and not rely on supplements.

To help you, here are some daily activities you can try:

Blink completely and regularly, especially while using a digital screen for long periods.

Drink plenty of water to keep your body and eyes hydrated.
Wear sunglasses as often as you can to protect your eyes from the winter winds and dust.
Heaters dry the air making you more susceptible to dry eyes. Always place a non-flammable container with water at the base of your heater.

Everyone is different when it comes to how we react to winter conditions.
So, by making certain lifestyle adjustments, and speaking to an optometrist at your nearest Vision Works store, you’ll be able to get effective holistic advice and a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs, helping you get through winter 2023 without dry, scratchy and itchy eyes.