How to Survive Christmas Party Season With Dry Eye
It’s that time of year when we all look forward to getting together with loved ones and celebrating.
Unfortunately, Dry Eye can be particularly challenging at this time of year. Not only does the harsh winter weather outside aggravate symptoms; the dry hot air inside can also cause flare-ups. This is on top of factors like cosmetics, dehydration and tiredness that can make the festive season tricky for people who suffer from chronic Dry Eye Syndrome.
This blog breaks down the main challenges that this season presents, and offers some tips to help alleviate symptoms so you can get out there and rock around the Christmas tree!
For a lot of us, dressing up for Christmas get-togethers usually includes some form of cosmetics. Make-up, especially eyeliner and mascara can clog the meibomian glands in your eyelids, making Dry Eye symptoms worse.1
Choosing the right makeup products can make a big difference. Cream eye shadow and foundation is better than powder as the loose particles can irritate your eyes.2 If you can, it’s best to avoid using eyeliner under your eyes, as this will irritate your eyelids and interfere with tear production.3
Avoid sitting next to the heater
When it’s blowing a gale outside, there’s nothing better than getting together inside where it’s cosy and warm. But, hot air from radiators or fan heaters that blows towards your face can dry up moisture in your eyes, causing existing Dry Eye symptoms to flare up.4 So, it’s best to try and sit away from heaters if you can, to protect your eyes from becoming dry and irritated.5
For many people, the festive season means going out for drinks, or indulging at home with loved ones, but research has found that consuming alcohol can trigger symptoms of Dry Eye Disease.6 This is because alcohol increases the level of sugar in our blood, and dehydrates the body, which can cause the lenses in our eyes to swell, resulting in blurry vision and exacerbated Dry Eye symptoms.7
With this in mind, it’s important to keep track of how much we’re drinking this season and be sure to stay safe and hydrated over the holiday period.
In communal environments, like bars, restaurants or office parties there will usually be some people who choose to smoke. Smoking is a common trigger for Dry Eye Syndrome, as cigarettes contain many harmful chemicals which irritate the eyes.7
Therefore, it’s important to consider your eye health when going out somewhere where people will be smoking, or before choosing to smoke yourself. Easy things that you can try are to avoid designated smoking areas in public places, and ask friends or family not to smoke directly next to you.
Get enough sleep
During the busy Christmas party season, it can be hard to get enough sleep, as work, socialising and festive planning combined lead to a very busy schedule. Lack of sleep has been discovered to have a negative impact on Dry Eye, as the body can’t make enough tears if it doesn’t get sufficient rest, causing eyes to be dry and itchy, so try to stay as rested as possible this winter. 9
Many people wear contact lenses more often when dressing up during the Christmas party season, but it’s important to give your eyes a break from contact lenses, to allow them to stay hydrated, which includes taking them out before you go to bed.10 11
3 step treatment plan
Winter is the perfect time to consider a 3-step treatment plan to effectively manage your Dry Eye, and avoid painful flare-ups.
Step 1: Apply a heated compress, such as Meibopatch, to unblock your meibomian glands and relieve your eyes.
Step 2: Is to cleanse and wipe away the melted oil blocking your glands, as well as any built up debris with a cleanser like Naviblef, that is specially designed to reduce discomfort.
Step 3: Is to incorporate an effective eye drop like VisuXL Gel into your daily routine. With 12hr protection with just one drop morning and night, your eyes will feel a great sense of relief this season.12 13 †
Hopefully, these top tips can help you get out there and have fun this season, whilst taking care of your eyes.
Winter can be a difficult time for those suffering from Dry Eye, click here to read more tips on how to manage dry eyes in colder weather.
1. Holliomon, Nicole. ‘Makeup Tips for Dry Eye’, Web MD, Accessed Nov 2021: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/makeup-tips-dry-eye
2. Holliomon, Nicole. ‘Makeup Tips for Dry Eye’, Web MD, Accessed Nov 2021: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/makeup-tips-dry-eye
3. Holliomon, Nicole. ‘Makeup Tips for Dry Eye’, Web MD, Accessed Nov 2021: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/makeup-tips-dry-eye
4. Preidt, Robert. ‘How to Fight Dry Itchy Eyes this Winter’, Healthday Reporter, Dec. 26, 2017, https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/news/20171226/how-to-fight-dry-itchy-eyes-this-winter Accessed November 2021.
5. Green, Kate. ‘Can Central Heating in Winter Cause Dry Eye Disease?’, Optimax, December 03, 2019, https://www.optimax.co.uk/blog/heating-winter-dry-eye-disease/ Accessed Nov 2021.
6. You, Young-Sheng, Qu, Nai-Bin, Yu, Xiao-Ning, ‘Alcohol consumption and dry eye syndrome: a Meta-analysis’, International Journey of Opthamology, 2016; 9(10): 1487–1492.
7. Farrier and Mackinnion Optometrists, https://fmoptom.com/news/dry-january-not-so-dry-eyes/ Accessed Nov 2021.
8. Griffin, R.Morgan, ‘Smoking and Dry Eye’, WebMD, 5th May 2021, https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/smoking-dry-eyes, Accessed Nov 2021.
9. Mastrota, M. Katherine, ‘Explore the Relationship Between Dry Eye and Sleep’, Optometry Times, 29th June 2019, https://www.optometrytimes.com/view/explore-relationship-between-dry-eye-and-sleep, Accessed Nov 2021.
10. Joy, Rebecca. ‘Why Sleeping in Contacts May Endanger Your Eyes’, Healthline, July 2019, Accessed Nov 2021: https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/sleeping-with-contacts
11. Miller, Korin. ‘8 Contact Lens Rules People With Dry Eyes Should Always Follow’, Self, Sep 2018, Accessed Sep 2021: https://www.self.com/story/contact-lens-rules-dry-eyes
12. VisuXL Instructions for Use (IFU).
13. Brancato R, Fiore T, Papucci L, et al. Concomitant Effect of Topical Ubiquinone Q10 and Vitamin E to Prevent Keratocyte Apoptosis After Excimer Laser Photoablation in Rabbits. J Refract Surg 2002; 18: 135-9.