The phrase “winter is coming” applies to more than Game of Thrones. Like it or not, even in Honolulu, winter is coming.
It might not be as cold or mean snow blanketing the ground, but it can mean some less than ideal symptoms for your eyes. Think dryness, itchiness, irritation, and general discomfort.
Wondering what you can do to make sure your eyes don’t dry out this season? Keep reading for a few tips on how to keep them from getting too dry this winter!
Your diet plays a role in keeping your eyes hydrated
You may already know that what you eat has a direct effect on your skin but did you know that the same is also true for your eyes? If you don’t eat enough foods that support optimal eye health, your eyes may suffer because of it.
So what should you be eating to make sure your eyes are well hydrated, especially during the colder months?
Consume plenty of omega-3 fatty acids
When you think of omega-3 fatty acids, the first thing that comes to mind might be fish or fish oil supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are a component that’s found in many fish, making it easy to add them into your diet.
This means to eat more tuna, salmon, cod, and even sardines if you like them. There’s no reason to eat fish by itself either.
You can add these things to your diet as a simple snack with crackers, or on top of a salad for lunch a few days a week. Consider subbing out meat one or two days a week for dinner and having a fish entree that isn’t fried instead.
This is one of the simplest ways to add more omega-3 fatty acids into your diet!
Invest in a few humidifiers for rooms you spend time in
One of the things that makes your eyes so dry when it’s colder outside seems obvious, but it’s dry air. That dry air can then travel indoors, or continue drying your eyes out when you use heat to warm your home.
We’re not telling you to freeze this winter, because nothing about that is healthy! But heating sources can be something that will dry out your eyes.
So if you know that your eyes get drier in the winter, investing in a few humidifiers makes a lot of sense. You don’t have to go out and buy several that are $100 or $200 apiece either.
You can often find a good humidifier for under $50. Once you’ve bought a few, put them in the rooms of your home that you spend the most time in.
This is going to probably include your bedroom, living room, and maybe your office if you’re still working there. Even making a small change like using humidifiers can make a big difference!
Drink more water, especially if you’re thirsty
You may have heard that if you already feel thirsty, it’s your body’s way of telling you that you’re dehydrated. There is definitely some truth to that statement!
After all, the human body is made up of over 60% water! When you remember that each of us is literally made up of water, it makes sense that you need water to survive.
Your eyes are no exception to this. When you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. And when your eyes feel dry, that’s their way of telling you that they need hydration.
Or in the case of your eyes, they need more tears and lubrication. Tears are good for a lot more than crying. Tears are an important part of how your eyes stay lubricated.
It’s also how essential nutrients get delivered to your eyes. If you aren’t producing enough tears, or the tears that are being produced are low in quality, these are classic signs of dry eye syndrome.
An easy way to avoid this? Drink more water!
On average, you should aim for at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. You should try to drink more but if you can drink that, your eyes will be in much better shape, especially if you have to deal with colder Honolulu weather.
Keep eye drops nearby to stop irritation in its tracks
One of the most frustrating things about dry eyes is the symptoms that go along with them. For many people, this can translate into dry, itchy, and irritated eyes.
Sound familiar? If you want to stop irritation in its tracks, your best weapon is eye drops. If you’re not sure what kind of eye drops or artificial tears you should be buying, ask your eye doctor at Sugiki Portis Eye Center.
They are eye care experts, after all! They’ll be able to recommend the best kind of drops or artificial tears to provide relief.
The key is to start using drops or tears before your eyes are really bothering you. In other words, don’t wait until your eyes are so itchy it’s all you can do to not rub them.
You may not realize this, but rubbing your eyes is a bad idea. Rubbing them will actually not help the problem.
In fact, you’ll make your eyes feel worse and you could cause some serious damage at the same time. It’s not worth it, so buy some eye drops and artificial tears to stop irritation the safe way instead.
Talk to your eye doctor about treatment if your eyes get worse
At-home treatments are all well and good but sometimes, they don’t do the trick. For many patients, the only way to get the relief they so desperately need is to bring in their ophthalmologist.
Dry eye treatment can be difficult to take care of on your own, and for a lot of patients, it takes a combination of medication and lifestyle changes before something works. The first step is to talk to your eye doctor and telling them about what’s going on.
Once they have all the information, your eye doctor can start to figure out the root cause of why your eyes are so dry and to come up with a custom treatment plan.
Ready to find out why your eyes are so dry? Schedule an appointment at Sugiki Portis Eye Center in Honolulu, HI today! With winter right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start getting your dry eye symptoms under control!