Help put your dry, itchy eyes at ease this winter with these hydrating tips.

While there are many exciting elements of winter that we look forward to every year―the glistening snow outside, the cooler temperatures, the fun winter sports and activities that the elements bring―there are also a number of less-than-desirable factors that blow in each winter along with the cooler temperatures.

One of the most notable, especially to those who wear contacts or have sensitive eyes, is the lack of moisture and hydration in the air this time of year. Dryness is inevitable during the winter season, and dry eyes in particular are a very common occurrence to both those with prescription lenses and to everyone else who lives in the colder areas of the country. While dry skin is easy enough to take care of with some lotion and extra hydration, dry eyes in the middle of winter are a little harder to take care of.

dry eyes

To help you put your dry, itchy eyes at ease this winter season, here are a few tips that will help you keep your eyes hydrated and feeling healthy until summer is here again:

1. Keep your contact lenses hydrated.

It’s important to think of contact lenses like sponges―in order for them to work properly and keep their shape, they must stay yet. When they get too dry, as they often do during the winter months, contact lenses will begin to lose their shape and will cling to your eyes, often causing soreness, pain and blurriness. Therefore, always be sure that you are using re-wetting drops often or keeping your contact lenses moist throughout the day.

2. Protect your eyes when outside.

The dryness that occurs indoors during winter is bad enough for our vision. However, when you pair that with the harsh winter winds and cold air outside, it is more important than ever that you are protecting your eyes from the brutal elements outside so that your dry eye symptoms do not become worse. You can do this by wearing a hat with a brim or sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors.

3. Ask your doctor about switching contact lenses.

If you have tried all of the usual aids―eye drops, wind protection, sunglasses―and nothing seems to be helping, ask your eye doctor about the possibility of switching the type of contact lens you wear. Sometimes this simple switch is enough to provide tons of relief, due to the contact lens material that you are switching to being more comfortable and hydrating to your particular vision needs.

4. Purchase a humidifier for your home.

If you have found that your dry eye symptoms are the worst after first waking up in the morning or after you have spent long periods at home, consider purchasing a humidifier for your home as a way to put some moisture back in the air. Many homes become very dry during the winter and this can help significantly. If you find that this helps to ease the symptoms, you can also look into getting small, portable humidifiers for the office or traveling.

What is your best tip for keeping your eyes feeling healthy and hydrated during the winter months? Be sure to leave your suggestions in the comments below. We may even feature your suggestion in an upcoming blog, so stay tuned!

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