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How to Fight Dry, Itchy Eyes This Winter

By Robert Preidt

TUESDAY, Dec. 26, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Add dry eyes to the health woes of winter.

"On average, the humidity drops in the winter with the colder weather [and] most people turn on the heat in their homes or offices to combat the cold," said Dr. Marissa Locy, who's with the University of Alabama at Birmingham's department of ophthalmology.

"What you end up having is lower humidity outside, and even lower humidity inside -- making for warm, dry conditions where moisture can evaporate from the eye faster than normal," she explained in a university news release.

That can leave your eyes feeling dry, gritty, stuck and irritated.

What to do?

Locy suggests several steps to protect your eyes from becoming dry:

  • Use a humidifier to help restore humidity to the air and moisture to the eyes.
  • Drink lots of fluids to keep your body hydrated and maintain moisture in your eyes.
  • Protect your eyes from extreme cold and wind. That can include eye protection or a hat with a visor.
  • Don't let heat blow directly onto your face. Doing so can dry up moisture in your eyes. Turn your car vents toward your lower body to avoid this problem.

During cold weather, your eyes can dry out even more if you wear contacts. So, Locy said, be sure you always wear clean contacts to reduce itching and possible infection.

Dry eye can sometimes progress to dry eye disease. See your doctor if you're concerned.

Dry eye cannot be cured, Locy said, but symptoms can be relieved by using eye drops, ointments or medication, or by plugging some tear ducts to slow the drainage of tears from the eye's surface.

More information

The U.S. National Eye Institute has more on dry eye.

SOURCE: University of Alabama at Birmingham, news release, Dec. 7, 2017

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=729313

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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