It’s inevitable; the cold weather can be hard on our bodies. Our bones may ache, our skin can get dry and flake, lips become chapped and eyes can become dry. As Canadians we have been able to just accept these things as “winter nuisances” and continue our countdown to warmer days, without looking into any of them any further.
Dry eyes in particular can be predicted as a result of many factors, it can be diagnosed through an eye examination with your optometrist and it can be treated both medically or with over the counter and at-home remedies.
Those irritating, scratchy and burning eyes can occur for many reasons, including:
1) Gender: Did you know women are more likely to develop dry eyes as a result of any hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, oral contraceptives and menopause.
2) Age: Majority of people over the age of 65 will experience some symptoms of dry eyes as it is apart of the natural aging process.
3) Environmental: Frequent exposure to smoke, wind or dry climates can increase tear evaporation and result in dry eyes. Even staring at a computer screen for a long time without remembering to blink regularly!
4) Medical Conditions: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems are more likely to have symptoms.
Testing can occur at an eye exam with you and your optometrist. They will evaluate the quantity and quality of the tears produced by your eyes and advise you on treatment if needed Any family or patient history should be discussed as well as an other general health problems.
Prepare for your doctor to do an external evaluation of the eye and evaluation of the eyelids and cornea.
1) Eye Drops: An over-the-counter solution for mild cases of dry eyes. Drops can be applied as needed and as often to supplement natural tear production.
2) Prescribed Eye Drops: Your optometrist can also prescribe you eye drops that increase tear production.
3) Supplements: adding omega3 fatty acid nutritional supplements can help!
1) Blink, go now, do it.
2) Increase the humidity at work and home.
3) Protect your eyes from the sun.
If the pain, dryness or discomfort persists, visit us at one of our two locations:
1655 Dufferin Street, Toronto, ON
2100 Finch Street West, North York, ON