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HomeHEALTH & WELLNESSDry Eye In Winter: The Causes And What To Do

Dry Eye In Winter: The Causes And What To Do

Dry eye is a condition linked to non-optimal lubrication of the eye, resulting from the poor quality or low quantity of tear fluid. Dry eyes are an annoying discomfort that can cause various disorders, which vary depending on the severity of the situation. The symptoms also vary, which may include photophobia, red eyes, sensation of a foreign body in the eye similar to a grain of sand, burning, and, in more severe cases, blurred vision and deterioration of visual quality.

Dry Eye: The Causes

The teardrop is made up of several layers. The layer adhering to the cornea is rich in mucins, proteins with a high capacity to absorb water. An intermediate aqueous layer and a superficial lipid layer follow this. When these three components lose balance with each other, the quality of the tear fluid is affected. This can occur, for example, in people suffering from seborrheic blepharitis, whose tearing problems are due to a malfunction of the lipid component.

Environmental conditions can affect, above all, the aqueous component but also the part that adheres most to the eye, which is the one that causes the most discomfort because it does not allow a uniform distribution of the tear over the entire ocular surface and can cause phenomena of alteration of the corneal epithelium. Finally, age plays a role: the lacrimal glands also tend to age and function less efficiently. We also recognize a greater predisposition in females to suffer from dry eye for hormonal reasons. Women, especially during menopause and sometimes even during menstruation, may experience a significant deterioration in the quality of tears.

Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye occurs mainly in the morning upon awakening. Patients suffering from this disorder may have difficulty opening the eyelids, as the poor quality tear fluid cannot keep the eye adequately lubricated, causing an almost “gluing” sensation. During the winter, the condition can worsen due to home heating, which, in the absence of adequate humidification, makes the air particularly dry, affecting both the quality and quantity of the tear. Consequently, even during the day, more than blinks, which perform the function of lubricating the surface of the eye, may be needed to accomplish their task.

In fact, poor blinking can contribute to the development of dry eye as it reduces the lubrication of the eye. There are moments during the day when, even without realizing it, we decrease the frequency of blinking. For example, this can happen when we stare intently at the mobile phone screen or when we are in front of a computer, tablet, or television. People who already suffer from a lower-quality tear are more prone to experience this problem.

What To Do In Case Of Dry Eye?

The functioning of the lacrimal gland cannot be improved as it is not replaceable. However, it is helpful to maintain an adequate level of hydration and adopt a diet rich in Omega 3, with the help of supplements if the doctor deems it appropriate. To relieve discomfort, eye drops can be used, which aim to preserve the quality of the tear fluid as much as possible. Those who have a good-quality tear may not need eye drops, but if tear function is compromised, the use of quality eye drops can help improve the lubrication of the eye.

The choice of eye drops depends on the specific eye condition, as well as the physical and health characteristics of each individual. Some eye drops aim to restore the balance of the lipid component, while others favor the improvement of the aqueous element, often based on hyaluronic acid. It is important to note that the use of eye drops only sometimes wholly solves the problem of dry eye. To make the most appropriate choice, it is advisable to undergo an eye examination and consult a specialist.

Also Read: 10 Foods For Perfect Eyesight


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