Health Watch: Winter eyes

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - During the winter months many patients will complain of dry and irritated eyes, sometimes itchy and sometimes even transient or temporary blurred vision.

Usually, this is caused by dry eyes. The cold winter air, the dry air and then the heat that comes out of your heater at home or in your car often times contributes to a loss of moisture in your eyes.

So some tips for improving dry eye symptoms are to one: choose the right type of eye drops. If your eyes are dry you don't want to pick a drop that gets the red out, that usually actually can make it worse. You want to use something like an artificial tear lubricated ointment or drop up to four times a day or even the preservative free natural tears which you can use every hour throughout the day.

Also sometimes there's a decreased production of oil in the glands around your eyes and so taking a fish oil daily can help increase the oily substance that helps keep your eyes moist.

And for women, make sure you avoid waterproof makeup or chemical based makeup removers around your eyes and even anti-aging sometimes have chemicals that are irritating to eyes and so when you remove your makeup just use something like fractionated coconut oil, and then you can apply warm compresses which sometimes will help dry irritated.

And if your eyelids seem red and inflamed, doing a little scrub with baby shampoo is helpful, but most importantly, if you try these tips but you have persistent dry eyes or especially persistent changes in your vision, make sure you see you eye doctor or your family doctor.

This is Doctor Nancy Babbit from Creekside Medical Clinic.