In the winter months, many patients come with problems that indicate dry eyes. They mention the feeling of scratching, tingling, the feeling of sand in the eyes, sometimes itching, redness. These problems mainly occur due to prolonged stay indoors, with strong heating, additionally included radiators (heaters, air conditioners, stoves), because insufficient humidity affects the increased dryness of the eyes.
This is especially pronounced in the elderly, then diabetics, menopausal women, wearers of contact lenses. Additional aggravation of the problem occurs during prolonged time in front of the screen or computer and the phenomenon of “rare blinking” which worsens the condition of the tear film and leads to “cracking” of the tear film and the creation of so-called. “Dry spots” that the eye registers as a “foreign body”. Then reflex tearing of the eyes additionally occurs. At the end of the day, the eyes become red and irritated.
Nowadays, Kovid, wearing protective masks leads to the fact that when we exhale the warm air that goes up, we additionally affect the drying of the eye surface, so we have more problems.
In addition to the closed space and dry, warm air, going out into the cold air with the wind leads to worsening of irritation, redness and increased tearing of the eyes. Especially if the irritation from additional light is added to that, such as the reflection of sunlight from the white surface of the snow, the difficulties are even stronger. A large amount of light, and thus UV radiation, is a great irritation to the eyes. In the most severe form, desquamation of surface epithelial cells can occur, so the problems deepen. Patients experience “stinging” in the eyes, such as needle stings, increased sensitivity to light, and a decrease in visual acuity.
What to do:
- It is mandatory to wear goggles with full UV protection outdoors.
- Complete protection in the snow in the form of ski goggles or helmets with visors.
- Protect your eyes by instilling preservative-free artificial tears / gels several times a day to help the eye surface withstand the above irritants.
- When reading and working on the computer for a long time, occasionally close your eyes, pause, rest your eyes, and move on.
- Use room humidifiers.
- Apply the protective mask correctly so that the part fits snugly towards the nose and cheeks, so that there is no flow of warm air upwards towards the eyes.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- We recommend a diet rich in omega 3 fatty acids – fish.
- When driving in a car, avoid directing the fan air towards the face, pointing the wings down or to the side.
- If the problems are severe, be sure to visit an ophthalmologist.