What Causes Dry Eyes In Winter & How Can You Prevent It

Dry eyes is a health condition in which your tears are unable to provide sufficient lubrication for your eyes.

Sushmita Sharma
Written by: Sushmita SharmaUpdated at: Jan 13, 2023 09:00 IST
What Causes Dry Eyes In Winter & How Can You Prevent It

You might have noticed that your eyes dry out a lot more in winter. This is due to the change in weather conditions and lower indoor humidity. You may experience itchiness, pain, and discomfort due to dry eyes. This can further disrupt your day-to-day activities like reading. This article explains the causes, symptoms, and tips to prevent dry eyes.

Causes Of Dry Eyes In Winter

Dry eyes are a health condition in which your tears are unable to provide sufficient lubrication for your eyes. Some of the causes of  having dry eyes in winter are as follows:

  • Your eyes dry out when they  are unable to produce sufficient tears. In addition, increased tear production can also lead to dry eyes. 
  • Cold and dry winds can cause your eyes to lose moisture and dry out.
  • Using heaters in winter may also be a reason for your dry eyes.

Symptoms Of Dry Eyes In Winter

  • Your eyes can turn itchy and develop redness.
  • You may develop light sensitivity.
  • You will have a burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes.
  • You may witness eye fatigue and blurry vision.
  • You may face difficulty in wearing your contact lenses.

9 Preventive Measures To Treat Dry Eyes

  1. Drink enough water to keep your eyes hydrated. Dehydration can also cause your skin to dry out along with your eyes. Limit your caffeine intake, as it can worsen your condition. 
  2. You should blink your eyes frequently to ensure that you are lubricating their eyes thoroughly with tears. Moreover, avoid rubbing your eyes, as it can increase the chances of infection. 
  3. Limit the usage of hair dryers as they can cause your eyes to dry out.
  4. You should avoid using indoor heaters frequently as they can also dry your eyes. Usage of humidifiers increase the moisture present in the air which helps in maintaining the moisture in your eyes. 
  5. Avoid smoking, as it can irritate your eyes and cause them to dry.
  6. Use eye protection like sunglasses while going out to protect your eyes. The ultraviolet rays are more intense when it is cold. In addition, you can also use warm and wet compresses on your eyes at night to provide relief to your eyes. 
  7. Reduce your screen timing as it causes you to blink less, which can further lead to dry eyes.
  8. You can also try using artificial tears to retain the moisture in your eyes when they are unable to produce fluid. Consult your doctor before using eye drops to cure eye dryness. 
  9. Dry air can cause inflammation in your tear ducts apart from causing dry eyes. Add foods rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet to prevent eye inflammation. 


Dry eyes can be common in women who are facing hormonal changes or in people who are above 50 years of age. Dry eyes may lead to eye infections and further damage the surface of your eyes. Therefore, visit a doctor if dry eyes are persistent and cause problems.