Do you suffer from irritated eyes? Due to seasonal allergies, many people suffer from itchy, watery eyes in spring and fall.

However, during the winter, some people experience a different kind of irritation in the form of dry eyes. Dry eyes are more common during the winter but can also be an issue year-round.

Luckily, there are ways to make your eyes more comfortable this winter, keeping them from feeling too dry. Keep reading for 7 tips to try for more comfortable eyes this winter and any season this year!

1.    Drink More Water

During the sweltering heat of summer in Texas, it’s easy to remember to stay hydrated. But as the weather cools off, you may find it more challenging to drink enough water.

But no matter what season you’re in, your body needs plenty of water. Because of that, you should drink enough water and consider your hydration needs. 

Staying hydrated is good for your body in many ways, but you may not realize how much water you drink can affect your eyes and how healthy they are. Your eyes constantly produce tears that keep the surface of your eyes clean and well-lubricated.

When you don’t get enough water, your eyes cannot produce enough tears, or the tears produced may be lacking in quality, leading to symptoms of dry eyes. Drinking water helps keep your eyes healthy, allowing you to produce high-quality tears and keep your eyes well-lubricated at any time of year.

Aim to drink at least eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day. If drinking water is difficult, you can still incorporate water into your day by drinking tea, soup, or high-water-content foods like watermelon, cucumber, and celery.

2.    Reduce Screen Time

When winter approaches, spending more time indoors and watching television is normal. You may not watch as much television these days, but using screens is probably part of your daily life.

You’re exposed to blue light if you’re on your phone, tablet, or other digital devices. The blue light emitted from using various digital devices and screens can be harmful in large amounts, causing eye strain, headache, fatigue, and dry eyes.

Limiting your screen time is an excellent way to avoid these harmful effects. Also, consider switching your devices to a warm light mode that reduces the amount of blue light emitted.

You can also consider using glasses with a blue-light protective coating. However, the best thing to do is to give your eyes a break from the screens! Make sure you blink and use eye drops or artificial tears while taking a break if your eyes feel dry.

3.    Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Limiting screen time is not always possible if you work on a computer. However, there is still an easy way to keep your eyes healthy even while sitting in front of a screen for an extended period, called the 20-20-20 rule.

The 20-20-20 rule states that you should take a 20-second break after 20 minutes of looking at a screen to look at an object 20 feet away. Taking even a short break like this helps your eyes refocus and get a much-needed break.

Although the 20-20-20 break is helpful, take longer breaks from the screen when you can. When you aren’t working, try limiting your screen time to make your eyes feel more comfortable.

4.    Avoid Being Near Heating Vents

Whether your vents are blowing out cool or hot air, they can dry out your eyes. One good way to avoid getting dry eyes is to sit and sleep away from your vents.

Being near these vents for an extended period can dry out your eyes, sinuses, and skin. Also, try not to sleep with a fan on. If you must, keep the fan pointed away from your face to minimize any impact on how dry your eyes get.

5.    Use a Humidifier

Even if you’re staying away from heating vents and other heating sources, you can still come in contact with dry air in your home and workplace. One way to counter this is to use a humidifier.

You can get a large humidifier for your home or a smaller one for your desk at work. Keeping the air around you from getting too dry is an excellent way to keep your eyes from feeling too dry or experiencing uncomfortable symptoms due to dry eye syndrome.

6.    Eat Right

Proper nutrition is essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Omega-3 fatty acids are vital for healthy tear production.

You can get omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil or flaxseed oil. You can take these as pills, but your body will absorb the nutrients better if you eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids like fatty fish, walnuts, and seeds.

Another good nutrient to eat to produce healthy tears is folate. You can find folate in dark, leafy greens and beans.

These nutrients will ensure your eyes stay healthy and well-hydrated all winter!

7.    See Your Eye Doctor For Any Unusual Eye Pain or Vision Changes

The best thing you can do to keep your eyes healthy is to see your doctor. Outside regular eye exams, you should always see your eye doctor if you experience vision changes or eye pain.

If your eyes feel too dry and it doesn’t seem to be due to your environment, it could be because you have dry eye syndrome. Diagnosing conditions like dry eye syndrome as soon as possible is crucial so your ophthalmologist can recommend treatment.

Treating eye conditions early can often save your vision from permanent damage, including chronic conditions like dry eye syndrome. Do you need to make your vision a priority? Take the first step by requesting an appointment at Dell Laser Consultants in Austin, TX, now!