We’re in the peak of winter here in the Maryland area. Temperatures can hover around freezing, meaning more heat in the home, car, and at work. Heating brings dry air. Then when we go outside, we go from dry heat inside, to chilling winds outside, which brings yet another drying component for our eyes. “If my eyes water, how could that be dry eye?” There are two basic types of tears; lubricating tears and reflex tears. Lubricating tears are the “normal tears” that help to properly lubricate our eyes so they feel comfortable and stay healthy. Reflex tears occur when the eyes feel some type of discomfort. If someone has a gnat fly into their eye, their eyes then water because of the reflex tear response. If someone gets poked in the eye, the eye will then probably hurt, and also water from the reflex tear response. If we’re outside on a cold windy day, the cold air has a drying effect on our normal tear film, causing evaporation where our eye’s defense mechanism kicks in a reflex tear response. The reflex tear mechanism happens as a result of some form of pain or discomfort, which then makes the eyes water. Here’s one of my previous blog posts, on “Simple Steps to Relieve Dry Eye.”
**In addition to dry eye syndrome, there are countless reasons why the eye could be watering. If your eyes water, be sure to visit your eye doctor to have your eyes examined, so they can help you to get your eyes feeling better.
Have a great day!