Dry, itchy eyes can be a symptom of various health factors — including allergies, improper contact lens care, or your environment. But, if you find your eyes are particularly dry in the winter, it may be a result of some unhealthy habits. Here are some that eye doctors say often cause dry eye in the colder weather.
3 Habits That Cause Dry Eyes in Winter
1. Using the Bathroom Exhaust Fan
The bathroom fan can be useful to reduce humidity after a hot bath or shower. However, in most homes, it’s not necessary to use it year-round. During the winter, leave the exhaust fan off while you’re bathing to minimize dry air. If your bathroom has a window, try opening it a crack instead to release excess humidity.
2. Heating Your Home
You rely on your heating system to keep you warm and cozy in the winter months. But, just as air conditioners can dry out your eyes in summer, so can central heating in winter. Hot, dry air can dehydrate the eyes, particularly if you tend to turn up the thermostat or have heating vents near your bed. Try lowering the temperature a few degrees to decrease dry eyes and save energy; also, avoid sitting or lying too close to vents.
3. Not Drinking Enough Water
Many people associate dehydration with heat; it’s true that when you’re sweating, you need to replenish your fluids more frequently. However, during the winter you’re at risk of becoming dehydrated because the cold may make you feel less thirsty. That’s not to mention that consuming sugary treats and celebratory alcoholic drinks can further dehydrate you. Eye doctors advise even slight dehydration can affect your eye health, reducing their ability to stay lubricated. Drink plenty of water and eat fresh produce and water-based soups this season to combat dehydration.
If you’re experiencing chronic eye irritation or dryness, see your eye doctor to ensure it isn’t the result of an underlying health condition. Your optometrist may also recommend the use of eye drops to reduce symptoms. If you’re a Brooklyn, NY, resident, turn to the trusted vision care team at Clear Vision Center. For over a decade, they’ve been one of the city’s most respected optometrists, offering a range of services from exams to contact lenses and glasses. Call (718) 771-0078 to speak with a friendly team member or visit the website to learn more about their services.