Mind and Body

Winter Weather Drying You Out?

Winter dryness can really wreak havoc when it comes to your eyes, nose and skin this time of year. I have found that a little planning for this annual event where the air is quite dry (both indoors and outside) throughout the country can prevent unwanted symptoms.

What can you do to improve your wintertime health?

  1. Water, water, water!Increase the amount of fluids you drink during the winter to help nourish the surface of the eyes. Drinking water will also help to wash away pollutants and allergens, and replenish the moisture your skin loses during this time of year. Nasal salt water solutions and saline gel can help to moisturize your sinuses.
  2. Moisturize.Use non-fragranced moisturizers on your skin that are hypoallergenic - especially for the face and body. Artificial tears and nasal saline gel drops can also help.
  3. Sleep well.Adequate sleep can also help to replenish moisture and give you a more refreshing awakening in the morning.
  4. Antioxidants.Load up on Omega-3s and other antioxidant rich foods (Think "Mediterranean" diet).
  5. Go natural.Watch out for "drying" effects of alcohol-based personal products/cosmetics and harsh soaps.
  6. Take a break. Give your eyes a rest while you're working. Frequent breaks from the computer will help to avoid worsening eye fatigue and dryness, and so will closing your eyes at intervals.
  7. Don't smoke.Smoke free is the way to be since tobacco smoke can dry the surface of the skin and has negative effects on your eyes and nasal passages.
  8. De-stress!Learn anti-stress and positive lifestyle behaviors and coping skills.

For more information, log onto www.dryeyeremedy.com.

Dr. Clifford W. Bassett is an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Long Island College Hospital and on the faculty of NYU School of Medicine. He is the current vice chair for public education committee of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. No information in this blog is intended as medical advice to any reader or intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition.

Dr. Clifford Bassett is an adult and pediatric allergy specialist, and diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology. He is the medical director of Allergy and Asthma Care of NY.   Bassett is a clinical assistant professor of medicine and on the teaching faculty of NYU School of Medicine and NYU Langone Medical Center, and faculty at Cornell University Medical College. Follow him on Twitter.