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Eye Care

How to Cope with Dry Eyes When the Cold Winds Blow

Tips & Treatment for Dry Eyes in the Winter

woman wearing hat and scarf in snowy trees

To put it simply – Dry Eye Syndrome refers to a chronic case of dry eyes and all of the irritating symptoms that it causes. This annoying condition develops when your eyes aren’t lubricated well enough, and winter is one of the worst culprits behind dry eyes. However, it’s not always the low temperatures and blustery winds that deserve blame. Rather, indoor heating is a typical problem, as it removes moisture from your atmosphere.

If the winter weather gives you red eyes, blurry vision and a need to rub your eyes or blink constantly, you’re probably suffering from dry eyes. Dry eyes won’t lead to any long term complications, yet they can be very annoying and interfere with many daily tasks. Contact us to schedule an eye exam; we’ll evaluate your dry eyes and offer a range of strategies and remedies to alleviate your discomfort. To protect your eyes from crisp, windy weather and the hazards of dry indoor heating, here are some helpful tips:

  • Purchase artificial tears (specialized eye drops) to restore moisture to your eyes. Be sure to consult with our expert optometrists to check which drops are appropriate for your ocular condition.
  • Avoid sitting too close to radiators and heaters at home or at work.
  • Hold back from rubbing your eyes, as this will exacerbate your dry eyes and could result in scratching the surface of your eyes.
  • Opt to wear your eyeglasses more frequently than contact lenses.
  • Reverse the drying effects of your heater by using a humidifier too.
  • Apply warm compresses to your dry eyes; this can help alleviate itchy symptoms
  • Take supplements. Recent Harvard studies have shown an association between taking omega-3 supplements and preventing Dry Eye Syndrome.

When you’re outdoors, you can protect your eyes against the cold by wearing sunglasses or goggles. Wraparound sunglasses are the ideal eyewear design, as they maximize the area of your face blocked from the wind. This is particularly important when engaging in wintery outdoor sports, such as skiing, snowboarding or sledding. All winter eyewear should have UV-protection, as the sun’s ultraviolet rays are just as strong even when it’s not warm outside!

Dry eyes are a chronic condition that can often be prevented or alleviated by following the above advice. Yet some cases may require additional dry eye treatment. We’re experienced in many types of dry eye treatment, including prescription medications and minor surgical procedures. Contact our office to reserve your appointment!

Will I Need Glasses After Cataract Surgery?

Happy Senior Man And Woman

Clear Vision after Cataract Surgery

Following cataract surgery, a number of options are available to provide you with clear vision. Advanced lens implants may reduce your dependence upon eyeglasses and contact lenses, or you may prefer eyewear.

To explain, during cataract surgery, your eye doctor will concentrate on two specific issues:

  1. Resolving cloudy vision caused by cataracts
  2. Vision problems caused by the lens power and shape of your eye

Private insurance plans and Medicare typically cover the expense of cataract surgery, along with a single-focus intraocular lens implant – in which a clear lens replaces your opaque lens. However, as your eye doctor performs this surgery, you can also opt to have an additional procedure to improve your vision focus. This can eliminate or reduce your need for eyewear.

Ultimately, you and your eye doctor will decide together upon the most appropriate choice for your personal needs. To make the right decision, it is important to be informed how each option will affect your vision. Here are a few case examples to give you a clearer picture of the possibilities:

Mia:

A true bookworm, Mia is always reading when she is not working in data entry. She has healthy eyes with a mild astigmatism and dislikes wearing eyeglasses. She was just diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. After cataract surgery, Mia would be very pleased to reduce her dependence upon eyeglasses.

A perfect choice for Mia would be multifocal contact lenses, which enable near and far focus without any cumbersome eyeglasses.

Another option would be a procedure described as a “corneal relaxing incision”. During her cataract surgery, Mia’s eye doctor would make an additional incision in the cornea to reshape it.

Ethan:

Ethan is an avid outdoorsman who has mild astigmatism in both eyes and wears eyeglasses for sharp vision. Recently, he was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. He is not bothered with wearing glasses for reading or close tasks, yet he would love to bike, swim and jog without his prescription glasses.

An ideal vision correction for Ethan would be an intraocular lens implant that resolves astigmatism. Called a toric lens, this implant can focus his distance vision and thereby reduce the need for eyeglasses when engaging in outdoor physical activities. Most likely, he will still need reading glasses to see fine print and the computer screen, as a toric lens does not help with both near and distant vision.

Matthew:

Matthew was never a fan of reading glasses. Therefore, for over 15 years, he has worn monovision contact lenses successfully to provide distance for presbyopia. Monovision lenses correct one eye for distance and one eye for near vision. After his cataract surgery, he would like to continue wearing monovision contacts. However, this is not his only option.

Multifocal lenses can be implanted in both of Matthew’s eyes, thereby giving sharp focus for both near and distance in both eyes. Alternatively, his eye doctor can implant one lens for distance and one for near – following the monovision method. The best candidates for this option are generally patients who are accustomed to wearing monovision lenses, such as Matthew. The final choice is a personal one, based on his preferences.

Jerry:

Jerry has worn eyeglasses since he was a young child, and he is the proud owner of many stylish frames. In addition to providing clear eyesight, Jerry’s eyeglasses function as his trademark fashion accessory.

After cataract surgery, he is a good candidate for basic single focus lens implants. These implants will improve Jerry’s visual acuity without eyeglasses, yet he will still need eyewear to focus well on both distance and near tasks. This option is a great match for his personal preferences.

The type of vision correction you choose after your cataract surgery depends upon your ocular condition, individual lifestyle preferences and the professional recommendation of your eye doctor. Quality vision is the objective of every cataract procedure, and there is more than one way to reach this goal!