How An Eye Doctor Can Help Alleviate Winter Dry Eyes

How An Eye Doctor Can Help Alleviate Winter Dry Eyes

When winter hits, you may notice your hands and lips getting dry. Maybe they even crack. This is because the air in winter, especially in Alberta, is very dry. But this lack of humidity doesn’t only affect your skin, it also affects your eyes. Many Albertans get dry eye symptoms this time of year and people with chronic dry eye or dry eye syndrome (DES) often have worsening symptoms. If you get winter dry eyes, there are some ways an eye doctor can help to relieve your symptoms, either through in-office dry eye exams and dry eye treatment or suggested at-home remedies.

Treatments Your Eye Doctor May Recommend For Winter Dry Eye Relief

At-Home Dry Eye Treatments
If your winter dry eyes are fairly mild, your eye doctor may recommend some at-home dry eye treatments to help keep your eyes lubricated. An eye doctor may recommend:

  • A Warm Compress
    For mild blockages of the oil glands in the eyelids (called the meibomian glands), using a warm compress and gently massaging the upper and lower eyelids can help remove blockages, facilitating better tear formation.
  • Artificial Tears
    Your eye doctor will likely suggest using lubricating eye drops or artificial tears for dry eye relief. Your eye doctor may recommend a certain type of eye drop (such as preservative-free eye drops versus eye drops with preservatives) for your specific needs and severity of dry eye symptoms.
  • Eye Ointments
    This dry eye product is thicker than eye drops, which helps it to last longer but can sometimes cause blurry vision. Because of this, eye ointments are typically recommended for use before bed.
  • Humidifiers
    Although this product wasn’t designed for eyes, it can work wonders. To help fight the dry winter weather, a humidifier can keep your home at a more reasonable humidity level that can help to reduce eye irritation.

Do you wear contact lenses and have dry eyes? You may need to change the type of contact lenses you’re wearing or you may need to take a break and switch to eyeglasses. Learn more by reading How To Choose Contact Lenses For Dry Eyes.

In-Office Dry Eye Treatments
For more severe dry eyes or for wintertime DES flare-ups, your eye doctor may recommend treatment at their eye clinic as well as an eye exam to determine the extent of your dry eye symptoms and potential causes. Your eye doctor may recommend:

  • A Dry Eye Exam
    This type of eye exam is specifically designed to determine why your eyes are dry, which will then inform your eye doctor of what treatment is most appropriate. A dry eye exam will test if you are not producing enough tears, if the tears produced are not adequate, or if tear distribution is poor.
  • Prescription Eye Drops
    Your eye doctor may prescribe eye drops for corneal inflammation. When your cornea is inflamed, it can prevent the eye from creating and distributing enough tears.
  • Punctal Plugs
    These are small, sterile devices that are inserted into tear drainage ducts located in the inner corner of your eyes. One punctal plug is inserted for each eye and these devices function to reduce tear drainage and increase the number of tears that remain on the surface of your eyes.
  • REVITAL-EYES Treatment
    This non-invasive light therapy treatment uses cutting-edge intense pulsed light (IPL) and radio-frequency (RF) technologies to deliver long-lasting dry eye relief. These technologies work to break up blocked oils within the meibomian glands so that tears can be made of the ideal ratio of oil, water, and mucus.

Learn more about dry eyes by reading Why Do My Eyes Feel So Dry?

Visit Your Eye Doctor For Their Dry Eye Recommendations

The type of dry eye treatment you need will depend on the severity of your dry eye symptoms and the source of your dry eye issues. If your dry eyes are caused by Alberta winter weather, you will need a less intensive symptom solution than someone who has corneal inflammation or dry eye syndrome. To determine the severity and cause of your dry eyes, as well as how to resolve these symptoms, schedule an eye exam at Blink Eyewear so we can help you see clearly and comfortably no matter the season. With three convenient locations in Crowfoot in NW Calgary, West Springs in SW Calgary, and Creekside in NW Calgary, Blink Eyewear can offer you great optometry services throughout the city. To book an appointment with Blink Eyewear, call 1-403-516-2292 or fill out the online contact form.


Yes. Although the dry air of winter tends to affect many Albertans, some people also get dry eyes in the spring and summer when trees are pollinating and allergens are in the air. If you get seasonal dry eyes that you suspect are related to allergies, visit your eye doctor and go for allergy testing.

Artificial tears from eye drops can lubricate the cornea of your eyes and provide refreshing relief for dry eye symptoms. Ask your eye doctor for recommendations for drops that are compatible with your lenses.

Yes, if you feel any symptoms of dry eyes avoid touching your eyes at all. Instead, try blinking rapidly to naturally lubricate your eyes.

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Blink Eyewear boasts the largest collection of eyewear in Calgary, but our 3 locations are also home to the region’s finest optometrists. Just as you will not find a better store to shop for your eyewear, you will not find a better vision clinic to do your eye exam or treat your eye condition. 

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