What can I do to stop my eyes from feeling like sandpaper or watering like crazy, especially in the winter?

Aging Health & Wellness

An eye care routine can improve symptoms of dry, itchy, or watery eyes.

Routine eye care includes keeping your fingers out of your eyes, gentle cleansing, using sun protection, and seeking care with a health professional when symptoms do not improve.

Blepharitis or eyelid inflammation is a common condition affecting all ages, though the prevalence does increase with age. The two most common causes of blepharitis are bacteria on the eyelid and clogged tear ducts. The condition is usually chronic, with symptoms that come and go. Symptoms of blepharitis can include:

🔴 Dry eyes
🔴 Watery eyes
🔴 Feeling like something is in your eye
🔴 Itching, burning, and/or stinging sensations
🔴 Red or swollen eyelids
🔴 Crusty eyelids, especially when you wake up.

Just like your lips and hands, your eyes can dry out in cold temperatures and wind. Your tear ducts produce more tears to keep your eyes moist. Your eye is making the extra tears to keep up with increased evaporation caused by the weather.

In places with lots of snow, eyes are exposed to more reflected light in the winter during daily activities like driving or taking a walk outside. The light can burn your eyes, causing symptoms including:

☀️ Eye pain
☀️ Light sensitivity
☀️ Eye fatigue

Uncomfortable eye symptoms are super annoying and can make you miserable. Luckily, the symptoms usually don’t cause damage to your sight or injury to your eye. Routine eye care is a first step to improve symptoms.

Keep your hands out of your eyes!

Hands don’t belong on your face. Do your best to touch your face and eyes less. If you must touch your face, use a clean tissue instead of your fingers or wash your hands first. Try keeping a clean tissue in your pocket. Everyone can improve on touching their face less. Trust us!

Clean your eyes.

Eyes should be washed at least once a day. If you are experiencing crusted eyes, clogged tear ducts, or uncomfortable eyes, wash them more often. Before washing your eyes, wash your hands. Use warm water and a gentle soap like baby shampoo on a clean washcloth to wash your eyelid and lash line. Gently wipe the eyelid for at least 10 seconds to let the warm heat open glands on the eyelid. Rinse with water and pat dry with a clean towel. Makeup should be removed at the end of the day.

Wear sunglasses.

Sunglasses are important in the winter, too! Wear sunglasses that block UV light, especially if you spend time outdoors or looking outdoors in the snow. Protect your eyes just like you protect your skin.

Sometimes, you need the help of eye professionals to rule out more serious causes of your symptoms or to get your symptoms under control. Sudden and severe symptoms including intense pain, eyelid swelling, and vision changes require immediate attention. If your symptoms are interrupting your daily life or getting worse despite your eye care routine, see a health professional.

Take care of your eyes. These tiny organs are important for your daily life and need regular attention. Investment in an eye care routine eye can decrease the frequency and intensity of infections, clogged tear ducts, and annoying winter eyes.

Stay Safe. Stay Well.

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