With the clocks having gone back an hour at the weekend, the nights will get longer and there will be a real sense that winter is on its way!
As we move into the colder months, we’re going to have our heating on more, both in our homes and in the car, which all makes for a much drier environment. Whilst this is great to help us feel all warm and cosy, it isn’t all that great for our eyes!
During the winter, more and more people suffer from a condition called dry eye, which can be really uncomfortable and can also affect your vision. Dry eye occurs when your eyes aren’t making enough tears, or your tears are evaporating faster than they should. Symptoms can include itching, soreness, redness, a gritty feeling, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light.
If you suffer from mild dry eye, then don’t worry as it’s usually nothing serious, and there are plenty of things that you can try to alleviate your symptoms. Here are just a few:
Try to blink more!
This may seem like an obvious one, but blinking is a quick and easy way to alleviate the symptoms associated with dry eye. Try to prolong your blinks by gently squeezing your eyelids together to spread a fresh layer of tears over the eyeball.
Take plenty of screen breaks
We lead such busy lives that we sometimes don’t give ourselves the rest we need, especially when using computers or smartphones. Every 20 minutes, take a break from your screen and look at something that is at least 20 feet from your eyes, for a minimum of 20 seconds. We call this the "20-20-20 rule”!
Keep your eyelids nice and clean!
When you’re washing your face, make sure you gently wash your eyelids to remove any bacteria that can cause blepharitis and meibomian gland problems, which can lead to dry eye symptoms. Apply a warm, moist towel to your closed eyelids for at least 20 seconds, then gently wash the eye area with a mild cleanser, paying particular attention to your lids and lashes.
It doesn’t matter if it’s winter. When you’re out and about during the day, try and wear a quality pair of sunglasses that block 100% of the sun’s UV rays. For the best protection, choose a wraparound style to protect your eyes from moisture-robbing wind, dust and other irritating debris.
Our very own Thompson & Hardwick Dry Eye Emergency Pack!
If you’re still struggling with the uncomfortable symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome, then we have a range of suitable products available, including our very own branded Thompson & Hardwick Dry Eye Emergency Pack!
In the first instance, the mainstay of dry eye treatment is artificial tear eye drops (preservative-free are best as there are fewer chemicals to irritate the eye in long-term use). Although this is merely masking the problem and it’s much better to treat the possible underlying cause, which could be blocked tear glands. To unblock your tear glands, you can clean your eyelids using a proprietary solution, such as Blephaclean pads, followed by a hot compress to open the pores and get them functioning more efficiently.
When our Principal Optometrist, Drew Thompson, was advising people about dry eye, he realised that buying all three recommended products individually could cost over £60. So, he decided to put together a sample pack of all three products for people to start and try. If one or more made a difference to their symptoms, they could continue to buy those products!
The pack costs just £20 and includes:
Approximately ten days’ worth of Thealoz Duo dry eye drops, which come highly recommended and are preservative-free
Approximately ten days’ worth of Blephaclean eyelid hygiene wipes; and
1 x microwavable eye warming (and cooling) therapy bag.
If you need any advice at all, please get in touch!