If you suffer from dry eyes then you are not alone. This common condition can occur during any season and be exacerbated by the climate or environment.  

How do you know if you have dry eyes?

The most common sign that you have dry eyes is not being able to produce tears properly. You may also notice yourself relying heavily on eye drops to lubricate the eyes.  If left untreated, dry eyes can lead to infections or damage the eyes. 

Knowing whether you have dry eyes or another condition, can help you to treat it properly and avoid discomfort.

Dry eyes or hayfever?

The symptoms of dry eyes are very similar to those caused by allergies such as hayfever.  These may include dryness, grittiness or tired eyes.  If your symptoms also include itchy eyes and/or nasal congestion then it is more likely that you are suffering from hayfever.  It is, however, a good idea to ask your optician so that they can determine whether it is dry eyes or seasonal allergens that are causing your discomfort and so it can be adequately treated. 

How does the weather affect dry eyes?

It is true to say that the seasons and changes in climate can affect the symptoms of dry eyes.  Changes in temperature, strong winds and humidity can worsen or even reduce your symptoms so let’s take a closer look at what you might expect season by season:

Spring – allergens such as pollen, which are in abundance during Spring, can exacerbate the symptoms of dry eye, making them dry, itchy and uncomfortable.  You may find that you need to take medication for dry eyes and hayfever to combat the problem, but check first with your optician and pharmacist.

Summer – the good news is that during the summer months, people with dry eyes tend to experience less symptoms as the weather is more favourable and there are less allergens.

Autumn – the cooler autumn air and the increase in allergies compared to summer, may mean that dry eye symptoms increase again during the fall. It may be beneficial to avoid those tasks that trigger the symptoms such as prolonged activities outdoors and raking up autumn leaves.

Winter – dry eye symptoms can often be at their worst during the winter.  This is because the air is drier and colder outside and also drier inside, due to the fact that the heating is on.  Wearing glasses or goggles to protect your eyes whilst spending long periods of time outside can be beneficial, as can using a humidifier in your home.

What can you do to help

It is a good idea to keep note of how the changing seasons affect your symptoms so that you can be better prepared.  You could also try protecting your eyes more from extremes in temperature and consider adding moisture to your indoor environment.

Ask your optician

If you are experiencing the symptoms of dry eyes or cannot find relief from the discomfort, please do ask your optician. 

At Dominic Tunnell opticians we are currently offering advice via telephone, whilst our store is temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus situation.  Please call us on 01905 950267 between 9am and 3pm Monday to Saturday for advice and information.  You can also pop in and purchase eye drops from us during these hours.